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Vintage High Heels

“I don’t know who invented the high heel,” said Marilyn Monroe, “but all women owe him a lot.”
When Marilyn Monroe said these words, she could have had little idea of the dizzy heights high heels would reach in the 20th century.  Both women and men have been lifting themselves from the floor with heels for centuries but it wasn’t until in 1954 when Roger Vivier took thin rods of steel and inserted them into the heel that the full potential for these vintage high heels and a stiletto heel became apparent.  From then on, heels have taken every form from the classic stiletto, moulded sculptural masterpieces and even heel-less. 

Looking back through the decades, there are a myriad of styles to choose from with vintage t strap heels to vintage platform shoes and sometimes their dates may surprise you.  Predating Roger Vivier, the iconic Salvatore Ferragamo Rainbow Wedges were in fact made for Judy Garland in 1938 though they seem closer to something from the swinging sixties.  Designers have adapted shape and form to create weird and wonderful creations which bend the mind.  Alexander McQueen was the fashion king of the extraordinary shoe, most notably with the Armadillo boots from his Plato’s Atlantis (Spring/Summer 2010) collection.  At 30 cm high from floor to ankle and a slightly inward bending heel, they seem an impossible feet of engineering. Yet these weird hoof like creations were the perfect base for his collection and have possibly been celebrated beyond the clothes.  They prove the power of a great pair of high heel shoes.

The scientifically proven temporary posture and bottom boosting power of a great high heel makes them irresistible to many women as proved by the popularity of plain high heel pumps from designers such as Christian Louboutin.  These shoes, whether high or moderately heeled can give add height and elongate the figure in any outfit.  However, vintage high heel shoes prove that designers have also playfully taken advantage of sky scraper heights.  In 1993, Vivienne Westwood’s Fall show was immortalised by Naomi Campbell’s tumble from her platform lace ups and Daphne Guinness can often be seen in her signature heel-less beauties.  If you come a cropper take a leaf from Guinness’s book ‘What is the taboo around falling down? You're supposed to feel embarrassed. But you know, gravity, man.’  Psychologists have studied a woman’s attraction to shoes and have many theories from the frustrated traveller to Cinderella and searching for enlightenment.  Yet we all know that, even on a day when we are not feeling our best, a pair of high heel shoes whether we wear them to please others eyes or just our own, can add a large (if slightly wobbly) spring to your step.

Take a look through Open For Vintage’s collection of vintage heels, whether you are looking for a specific event such as vintage wedding heels or simply for pleasure, there is plenty to inspire.

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Belegante 1940s Green Snakeskin Heeled Slingback Shoes with Peep Toe UK size 3.5

Style Keyword : High Heels ,Colour : Green ,Gender : Female ,specification : Green, , ,Size : WIDTH - 2.7 in (6.86 cms) LENGTH - 22 in. (55.88 cms) ,

Woven Raffia Patent Leather Slingback Pumps

Style Keyword : High Heels ,Colour : Black ,Gender : Female ,specification : Black, -, B :Good Condition - Some Light Wear Of Use ,Size : 36 ,

Two Tone Glitter Cap Toe Slingback Pumps Heels

Style Keyword : High Heels ,Colour : Black ,Gender : Female ,specification : Black, -, B :Good Condition - Some Light Wear Of Use ,Size : 36 ,

Black Suede High Heels Slingback Shoes Size 39

Style Keyword : High Heels ,Colour : Black ,Gender : Female ,specification : Black, Suede, B :Good Condition - Some Light Wear Of Use ,Size : 39 ,

Prada Black Patent Leather Classic Pumps Italian Squared High Heels Shoes, 1990s

Style Keyword : High Heels ,Colour : Black ,Gender : Female ,specification : Black, , New or Never Worn. Like new. ,Size : H 3.94 in. ,

Christian Louboutin - Cheetah Peeptoe Slingback Pumps

Style Keyword : High Heels ,Colour : Brown ,Gender : Female ,specification : Brown, , ,Size : US 9.5 - 39.5 ,

Chanel Black Silk Camellia Slingback Heels

Style Keyword : High Heels ,Colour : Black ,Gender : Female ,specification : Black, Silk, Excellent. ,

Sergio Rossi Embossed Leather Wedge Platform Blue Vintage High Heels

Sergio Rossi Light Blue & Beige Embossed Leather Wedge Shoes Platform

Salvatore Ferragamo Suede Gancino Stick Pin Black Vintage Mid Heels

Salvatore Ferragamo Black Suede Gancino Stick Pin Heels Pumps Shoes

Miu Miu Open Toe Bow Detail Taupe Leather Vintage Pumps Heels

Vintage Miu Miu open toe pump stiletto heels in pink taupe with a bow detail.

Dolce & Gabbana Brown Snakeskin Heeled Jeweled Sandals Size 38

Style Keyword : Sandals ,Colour : Brown ,Gender : Female ,specification : Brown, Leather, Used ,Size : 38 ,

Dolce & Gabbana Color Block Slingback Pumps Heels Size 38

Style Keyword : High Heels ,Colour : Purple ,Gender : Female ,specification : Purple, -, Used ,Size : 38 ,

Versace Metallic Snakeskin high Heel Sandals

Versace high heel sandals in metallic gold snakeskin leather

Versace Pointed-Toe Platform Snakeskin Detail Turquoise Blue Vintage Suede Pumps Heels

Vintage Versace pumps heels in turquoise blue suede with a pointed toe and a platform heel with a snakeskin-look detail.

Celine Gold Edged White Leather High Heel Sandals

Céline white white leather strap buckled high heels sandals with gold tone heel

Giuseppe Zanotti golden leather vintage slingback high heel pumps

Eye-catching golden crystal embellished slingback high heel pumps by Giuseppe Zanotti probably from the 1990s

Gucci Gray Leather Ankle Wrap Strap Platforms Shoes Sandals Sz 39

Style Keyword : Sandals ,Colour : Red ,Gender : Female ,specification : Red, Leather, A :Excellent Condition - Used Once Or Twice ,Size : 39 ,

Christian Dior Leopard Ponyhair Wooden Heel Platform Sandals 35.5

Style Keyword : Sandals ,Colour : Black ,Gender : Female ,specification : Black, -, B :Good Condition - Some Light Wear Of Use ,Size : see description ,

Louis Vuitton Snakeskin & Leather Wedge Platform Beige Vintage High Heels

Louis Vuitton Beige Snakeskin & Leather Wedge Shoes Cork Platform

Joseph Magnin & Herbert Levine 1960s Metallic Vintage Shoes & Bag

Joseph Magnin and Herbert Levine matching high heels and clutch bag

Biba Iconic 1970s floral print vintage high heeled shoes

1970s Biba leather stacked heel sandals

Caovilla 1950s Handmade black vintage Shoes

1950s Handmade Satin Evening Shoes by Italian Firm Caovilla

Pinet of New Bond Street 1950s lace brown vintage shoes

1950's Lace & Suede Court Shoes by Pinet of New Bond Street

Miu Miu Patent Brogue Cream & Tan Vintage Heels

Cute patent leather brogue heels

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