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What is it about a pair of shoes that so enchants women of all ages, demographics, political affiliations, and style tribes? Part social history, part fashion record, part pop-culture celebration, Women from the Ankle Down seeks to answer that question as it unfolds the story of shoes in the twentieth century.
The tale begins in the rural village of Bonito, Italy, with a visionary young shoemaker named Salvatore Ferragamo and ends in New York City with a fictional socialite and trendsetter named Carrie Bradshaw. Along the way it stops in Hollywood, where Judy Garland first slipped on her ruby slippers; New Jersey, where Nancy Sinatra heard something special in a song about boots; and the streets of Manhattan, where a transit-worker strike propelled women to step into cutting-edge athletic shoes. Fashion aficionado Rachelle Bergstein shares the stories behind these historical moments, interweaving the design innovations and social changes that gave each one its lasting significance and appeal.
Bergstein shows how the story of shoes is the story of women, told from the ankle down. Beginning with the well-heeled suffragettes in the 1910s, women have fought for greater freedom and mobility, a struggle that exploded in the 1960s with the women's liberation movement and culminated in the new millennium with our devotion to personal choice. Featuring interviews with designers, historians, and cultural experts, and a cast of real-life characters, from Marilyn Monroe to Jane Fonda, from Gwen Stefani to Manolo Blahnik, Women from the Ankle Down is a lively, compelling look at the evolution of modern women and the fashion that reflects—and has shaped—their changing lives.
Starts with a poor Italian boy in 1907 and travels, a lot of the time with him, through UK, France, Hollywood, before it wraps up with the close of the US television show Sex and... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Forrest S. Wood
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings
A look through history and how events in history effect fashion and specifically footwear. Read more
This was a fun read and I'd highly recommend for anyone who enjoys knowing more of the history behind both the shoe industry and shoe designers, historical trends, and their social... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Claire David
Bought as a gift for a shoe lover. She doesn't deserve this, but the book made for a cheap gift.
Great gift for annoying daughter-in-laws.
Full of interesting information about the significance or symbolism of shoes at different times in our recent history. A very enjoyable read. Totally recommended.Published 10 months ago by Andrea Maria derta
This was not as great as or what I expected from the title. It was just as much about fashion, hollywood, men, sex (this is a huge part of the whole book), etc. as shoes. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Ann
This "documentary" is presented in a delightful way and I liked reading every phase. Bergstein has many footwear anecdotes to tell along with the history.Published 12 months ago by sj
The first parts were interesting, more intersting than I thought. Author hit on some ideas about 1950s stilettos that I had not thought of. Read morePublished 13 months ago by konacoffee
I thought this was an intriguing book. Personally, I am not a shoe hound, and the allure of shoes escapes me, but I found this book amazing, and I wasn't table to book this one... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Stephanie Manley