100 Years of Fashion: High Heels

What better way is it to tell an era’s story but with fashion? True enough, fashion speaks so much about a generation. We can learn so much about a person just by looking at how they dress up! One of the most notable fashion pieces all throughout the decade are shoes. Last August 31, 2016, YouTube channel Mode uploaded another video in continuance to their 100 years series. Let’s take a quick overview on 100 Years of Fashion: High Heels and see the hippest and trendiest styles that ruled each decade.

100 Years of Fashion – High Heels:

1910s: Foreign Grandeur

One often misconception about the 1910s is that it’s an era of extreme economic predicament since it’s the year of the Great War. While it is true that it is one of the most difficult times in history, the years after World War I gave birth to refined opulence in terms of fashion taste. Foreign trading has become more active which greatly contributed on how fashion evolved in 1910s. Dresses rose from floor length to ankle-length which influenced the style of high heels back in that era. Full-laced boots and leather pumps in neutral and achromatic colors are some of the key points of 1910’s high heel fashion style.

1920s: Birth of the Modern Era in Liberal Fashion

Gloria Swanson, Louise Brooks and Coco Chanel – these are some of the most notable women who introduced a new type of fashion which liberates women from restricted clothing. Women felt more unimpeded in wearing skirts and trousers unlike in the 1910s where they are only limited to bulky gowns covered in frills. This opened the gates to more colorful high heels. Mary Jane straps and classic pumps were also introduced and it became a huge fad for women in the 1920s.

1930s: High Society Fashion

Social life in the 1930s has become more engaging – more social gatherings, barbeque parties and evening dinners to attend. Fashion definitely knows how to catch up with people’s lives so 1930s offered a set of elegant-looking attires that look glamorous but reserved at the same time. High heels come in more colors and designs. It also introduced peep-toe pumps for the first time ever!

1940s: Practical, Comfortable, Chic

1940s is the era where World War II broke. It truly placed a lot of country in great depression, but soon after the war is over, everyone’s active lifestyle got back on track. Fashion in the 1940s is more on practicality; however, Hollywood figures like Ava Gardner and Rita Hayworth showed everyone how to rock a chic fashion look while wearing something that is extremely comfortable. Heels are thicker in the 1940s for comfort, but designs are getting more adventurous with statement embellishments.

1950s: Vogue in Transition Period

As fashion historians say, 1950 is where fashion transcends dramatically. The early years, from 1910 to 1940 focused on elegance, sophistication and comfort. As the year 1950 emerges, fashion is introduced into a wide variety of designs and colors. Slingbacks and slim heels became a rapid-growing fad among women for it is a very different style compared to how the early years introduced high heels. A much bigger area of the feet is exposed and experimenting with dramatic prints and embellishments is very much welcome!

1960s: High Heels Ready to Party!

The fashion freedom in the 60s is very much obvious. Since the 50s gave way to a dramatic fashion transition – from fully-covered pumps to flirty slingbacks – the 60s had an easier time embracing more colors and styles. Women were very much drawn into the whole doll image, which explains shoes in more vibrant choices.

1970s: Getting into the Groove

The film Saturday Night Fever is partly to blame with all the disco hype that happened that era. Flashy golds and silvers, plus blinding vibrant colors define 1970s fashion. High heels come in various designs such as funky straps, classic pumps and peep-toes. But regardless of the design, the style that heels in the 70s have in common is that they come in vivid color combinations.

1980s: A Cocktail of the Present and the Past

The style that ruled the 80s is a combination of new styles and throwbacks. The classic pumps from the 20s and 40s made their respective comebacks. Though they resurfaced in the fashion scene once again, the 80s version contains more accents such as studs, metal plates and ribbons. Slingbacks are still present but they are most commonly in slimmer heels.

1990s: Bold and Adventurous

The 90s is truly a fun and adventurous year in fashion. If you’re a 90s baby, you probably still remember how flashy and posh The Spice Girls were! Or maybe even picture Britney Spears’ pop princess style in your head. It’s quite difficult to explain 90s fashion because it’s all about personal preference. Fashion has become more liberal, giving an individual the freedom to choose what to wear and which to match it with. High heels come in all forms, glitters, pumps, color blocks – you name it!

2000s: The Popularization of Flirty Stilettos

Although stilettos aren’t something new when it comes to fashion, the early 2000s made flirty, thin heels a growing fashion sensation. Celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Lindsay Lohan and Jessica Simpson are the brightest stars of the early 2000s. They are usually seen walking the red carpet in skinny stilettos and that’s where the entire fad began.

2010s: Walking Architecture

One prevalent factor in terms of today’s shoe style: Details. Shoe styles of 2010 display careful details and architectural layouts that really stand out. Straps and decors are used to create unique patterns that truly catch the eyes! One very popular design that conquered today’s fashion scene is Valentino’s Rockstud Ankle Straps. It has very notable stud details that make a perfect pair for formal dinner dates or impromptu night outs!

Fashion has come a very long way, and just like people’s lives, fashion also makes very rapid changes. What’s fascinating about the fashion transition of high heels is the fact that all styles, from 1910 to the present, are still very much wearable. We can still see ourselves wearing those classic red pumps from the 1920s today, don’t you think? High heels are one of fashion’s most versatile creations. We can’t even imagine the fashion world without them! How to shop for high heels?

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