Monday, October 29, 2012

Favorite Magic Shoes - Remembering Fairy Tale Shoes

Five Books and Fairy Tales Featuring Iconic Shoes or Boots

We first heard the stories from our parents. Later, we probably read them to children ourselves. The movies are classics. All of these stories have survived and flourished through multiple adaptations.

Question: Were the shoes, boots or slippers featured in the original stories the same ones we saw on screen?

The fanciful shoes are often thought of when women are looking for wedding high heels.Can you imagine modern versions of these shoes? Where would you wear them?

Here are five stories that prominently feature shoes or boots. Can you think of any more?

1) L. Frank Baum published his novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in May of 1900.

In the original novel, Dorothy Gale's shoes, believed to have magic properties, were silver.

Glinda, the Good Witch, helps Dorothy to get back home using the silver shoes.

"The Silver Shoes," said the Good Witch, "have wonderful powers. And one of the most curious things about them is that they can carry you to any place in the world in three steps, and each step will be made in the wink of an eye. All you have to do is to knock the heels together three times and command the shoes to carry you wherever you wish to go."

In The Wiz, the shoes are silver high heels.  Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West also features silver shoes.

But the shoes people most associate with the story, those associated with the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz, are the red Ruby Slippers.

Legend has it that studio executives decided that the sparkling red shoes would do better in Technicolor, better than silver shoes.

The Ruby Slippers made an appearance at the 2013 Oscars. During the pre- Academy Awards red carpet telecast, special correspondent Kristin Chenoweth  asked several celebrities to guess what piece of Hollywood lore was inside a covered mystery box.

Clues were given such as, It's made of over 2000 Components, It's a piece of Hollywood History. It has Magical Powers. People on social media were encouraged to Tweet their ideas.

Anne Hathaway, the evening's winner for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Les Miserables, guessed correctly and Dorothy's ruby slippers were revealed!

A popular choice for ladies who want to dress as a modern day Dorothy is the women's Ruby Mary Jane. (example above right) Colorful rhinestone shoes are desirable for wedding shoes. Maybe choose some red shoes?
The Lita Shoe is one of his classic styles available in different colors, textures and fabrics. It's a popular shoe by designer Jeffrey Campbell. The shoe is also available in several other styles, colors and textures. The Lita Shoe is sometimes available in Red Glitter!

Be sure to check out their classic all-black with the hidden platform. Talk about magic shoes -- have you seen their Wooden unicorn heel?!

Here's a quote about Dorothy's ruby slippers...
"A second stylistic approach was to dye a commercially manufactured basic silk pump red. This was covered with a red silk fabric that was sewn with rows of approximately 2,300 crimson-colored sequins.

"After the sequins had been stitched to the silk covering, the covering was then sewn onto the shoe. When filmed under the brutally intense lights required by the Technicolor camera, the crimson sequins that encrusted the slippers appeared a glistening ruby red on screen." --Blocker Bowers, Ruby Slippers article excerpt

Are you going to see Oz The Great and Powerful, created to be the prequel to the legendary Wizard of Oz? I hear that Dorothy's shoes. be they silver or ruby red, won't be in the prequel. That isn't to say, of course, that amazing shoes won't play a role on and offscreen. Designer Nicholas Kirkwood created an Oz inspired shoe collection which debuted at London Fashion Week 2013. Stylish shoes are named for characters, male as well as female characters. 

For upcoming parties, events and costumes, ladies and men won't be at a loss for magical shoes to wear in the spirit of Oz.






2) French author, Charles Perrault wrote a familiar version of Cinderella in 1697. 

This version included not only the pumpkin and fairy-godmother but it introduced the glass slippers.

Other versions of Cinderella contained references to sewn silk shoes and pure gold shoes. The famous 1950 Disney Cinderella is said to be modeled after the Perrault Cinderella.

A 1914 Mary Pickford silent film version also had glass slippers. Owen Moore was Prince Charming.

The Clear PVC Shoes with 2” Lucite heels have a glitter heart embellishment on the top (left). They have 4 1/2 star customer ratings and are just one of the popular shoes made to see-thru material to emulate a glass slippers that are available.

Some, like the Brook Clear Platform Shoes are a more modern version. They're a clear platform sandal with peep toe, ankle strap with side buckle, 6" stiletto heels on a 2" platform.

The Cinderella Original 1950 Disney Movie Poster, above, features Prince Charming as he kneels in front of Cinderella and holds the glass slipper.

The German Grimm Brothers have a 19th century version of the story as well. This does not include the glass slippers. It includes, I believe, the golden shoes.

Christian Louboutin has even designed a pair of Cinderella Glass Slippers.They have Louboutin's trademark red soles. Delicate crystal-adorned lace with two sparkling butterflies. One of the butterflies sits atop of the crystal covered heel, gently brushing the ankle.

3) Hans Christian Andersen The Red Shoes

As with all of these tales, there have been many adaptations of Andersen's story of The Red Shoes.

The Red Shoes is a familiar illustrated children's book.

A 1948 film starring Moira Shearer and Anton Walbrook, also contained a ballet of the same name.

A girl desires a pair of red shoes she sees in a shop window. She puts them on and begins to dance. The magic red ballet shoes are actually controlled by an evil shoemaker.

Though she wants to return to her mother, she cannot stop dancing. The red shoes keep her dancing. In the end, she falls into a netherworld.

An episode of Supernatural, Out With The Old, includes a pair of cursed ballerina slippers. (Season 7)

In 2011, the Austin-based aerial arts collective Sky Candy adapted the story for a cirque noir aerial ballet.

I like these House of Harlow Shoes,The Stormy Shoe in Navy Velvet. (below)icon They seem very faerie tale with the snake going up the heel. A velvet pump with 5" thin metal heel featuring a snake wrap design. 1.25" platform sole. The god Hermes had a caduceus staff around which were two snakes. Hermes and the Roman god Mercury had wings on their shoes.

Fun to try these open-toe snake theme shoes
Love the rear zipper for both ease of getting them on and off plus the pop of the added hardware. Two colors.

4) Puss in Boots : French author Charles Perrault wrote Le Chat Botté

A miller dies and all he leaves his son is a cat. Apparently this cat is well dressed in a pair of boots (and from what we've seen, he also sports a swell cavalier hat). Puss in Boots is usually seen in swashbuckler pirate boots.

The cat is said to use trickery and deceit to acquire things for his master, including a castle stolen from an ogre and finally the hand of the king's daughter. The ogre is interesting as Puss in Boots will reappear later in the Shrek movies.

In the film, Puss in Boots with Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek, the adorable but tricky Puss in Boots must clear his name from charges making him a wanted fugitive. The film is a prequel to Shrek movies.

Boots are always in style and finding that boot that's right for you and your lifestyle can be a challenge but a fun proposition.

The Jeffrey Campbell Human Aliens Go Go Boot in Black Washed Leathericon

5) An Old Woman who lived in a shoe: Mother Goose

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children, she didn't know what to do.
She gave them some broth without any bread;
And whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.

There's more than one house (or building of some kind) around the world that's shaped like a shoe or boot.

The Haines Shoe House is in Pennsylvania. They offer a tour, ice cream and other goodies as well as a gift shop.  You can make a birdhouse shaped like a shoe!

6) Extra! The Barkleys of Broadway: Fred Astaire's Shoes with Wings on Them.

 Dancing with a group of animated shoes.

A 1949 musical with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Astaire and Rogers teamed up again after ten years apart.

To see Astaire dancing with a group of magic shoes was quite the special effects feat for 1949!

This film introduced some songs we know well, such as Steppin' Out With My Baby and They Can't Take That Away From Me.

Roger Vivier
Roger Vivier: A tribute to the Master Designer "The volume spans the brand’s creations from the Thirties onward, including Vivier’s invention of the stiletto heel for Dior in 1955 and the buckle pump made famous by Catherine Deneuve in Luis Buñuel’s 1967 movie Belle de Jour, to current creative director Bruno Frisoni’s revival of the house." - excerpted passage from Womens' Wear Daily.
Gift Wrap is available

Related Pages:  

Footzyrolls, Spare Soles, Foldable Flats: Gifts for Wedding,Travel, Holidays [being updated, relocated, live link to be announced]

Prince Charming Costume: Ken Doll Costumes
[being updated, relocated, live link to be announced]

Platform Shoes : Disco Shoe History

Piano Dance: Fun with James Cagney, Tom Hanks, Liberace

Sources Quoted & Consulted
"The Ruby Slippers: Inventing an American Icon". Dwight Blocker Bowers, The Lemelson Center.

Description of Christian Louboutin Cinderella shoes, some information from The Telegraph UK newspaper

An Original 1948 Program from The Red Shoes is available.(above)

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