“I’m not interested in bimbo shoes,” Zac Posen explained at the launch of his shoe line last night at Ladurée in Soho. What Posen would describe as “bimbo” was not explained, although sexiness certainly does not fall under the umbrella.
“I wrote an essay when I was in high school, called ‘Heels, Height, Femininity, and Power’,” he recalled, launching into a discussion of the historical importance of heels. He brought up some very interesting points about the role women’s footwear plays in our notions of social class and sexuality. Posen went as far back with his examples as the Renaissance: Shoes such as the chopine have toed the line (hehe) between social status (the high platform of the shoe meant more fabric was used for dresses at a time when textiles were extremely expensive), and the erotic (the unseen chopines were essentially lingerie to Renaissance folk). “It’s also like jewelry for the feet. But there’s [also] a control thing,” he said, noting that shoe elements like lacing and danger are akin to corsetry. “Philosophically, the idea of enveloping a body part has a fetish-like quality to it.”