French designer Christian Louboutin — he in the christian louboutin australia — is likely to appeal a recently available New York City Court decision that permits rival company Yves Saint Laurent to keep their own scarlet-soled pumps. Louboutin had his signature trademarked in 2006, nevertheless the decision could ultimately change that, permitting legions of copycats to capitalize on the red sole’s se-xy appeal.
The situation has caused some confusion inside the fashion community. (Can’t YSL find another color — say, yellow — without taking Louboutin’s signature?, they ask.) For Louboutin, who has painted the soles of his shoes red since 1992, red implies sensuality — and functions as a crafty, subtle branding tool. “I selected the colour as it is engaging, flirtatious, memorable along with the hue of passion,” he told The Latest Yorker in March. But red also carries connotations of wealth and power, particularly in the history of fashion and footwear. Its potent symbolism and strange history give some understanding of why it remains such an attractive color for shoe designers — and why they are able to battle in court over its use.
In Western societies, red long served like a symbol of ferocity and power, worn by soldiers, monarchs, the papacy and other important figures. The Traditional Greeks and Romans carried red flags in battles, and as late as the 1800s soldiers wore red from the field in order to intimidate their enemies. In her own book The Red Dress, fashion historian Valerie Steele describes how Duke John the Fearless of Burgundy arrived in Paris in 1406, victorious and wearing “a red velvet suit lined with grey fur and worked over with gold foliage” — an indication of his power. It’s a tactic which includes remained loved by executives and politicians: Consider the Wall Street execs through the ’80s using their red suspenders or ties, or Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi inside their red “power suits” today.
Red also signified privilege: Red dyes were expensive to produce, so solely those with power and status can afford to utilize them. (The Chinese claimed that red dye was created of dragon’s blood — imbuing the color with rare magic.) Many European societies imposed sumptuary laws, which dictated what certain social classes could wear, and red was often reserved for princes or nobility. (One of the people’s demands during the Peasants’ Revolt in Germany in the 16th century was the right to wear red, and, naturally, the French Revolutionaries adopted the hue like a symbol of rebellion.)
A particular mark of class distinction was the red-heeled shoe, which aristos began sporting within the 1600s. Charles II of England wore them; a 1675 portrait of him shows that his louboutin australia had not merely red heels but red soles as well. But it really was Louis XIV of France who made them the “it” item among Europe’s monarchs. Red heels were extremely important to the Sun King he passed an edict praoclaiming that only people in the nobility by birth could wear them. According to Philip Mansel’s Dressed to Rule, the painted heels showed that nobles did not dirty their shoes. But they also established that their wearers were “always ready to crush the enemies from the state at their feet.”
The French Revolution banished the “Louis heel,” although other European nobility continued putting them on, such as the English. But red shoes would resurface again — in culture also in fashion. Hans Christian Andersen used the red shoe like a symbol of wealth and vanity in the morality fairytale The Red Shoes. Clearly, he shared french Revolutionaries’ distrust of red footwear. Fashion illustrations from the 1920s and ’30s, however, depict rouge heels less symbols of class oppression and power, but of fun and coquetry. A drawing coming from a 1920 catalog at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s archives in New York City shows a slim, elegant woman inside a fur-trimmed coat and cloche hat wearing adorable black shoes with red heels. The surrealist designer Elsa Schiaparelli’s famous “shoe” hat — an upside-down shoe worn on one’s head — experienced a shocking-pink heel.
The 1939 version in the Wizard of Oz swapped Dorothy’s silver shoes from the book for ruby slippers, that have red soles. Dorothy’s slippers not merely conveyed magic and whimsy, additionally, they gave her confidence and said something regarding the transformative power of fashion — or of a particular accessory or garment.
Recently, red soles have brought glamour and s-ex appeal to the shoe. Valentino Garavani, the perennially tanned and fabulous Italian couturier, has intermittently produced red-heeled chr1stin since 1969 to go with his famous elegant red gowns. (The color he uses, an orangey rouge, is usually called “Valentino red.”) Within the 1970s, Yves Saint Laurent — known for his gender-bending, se-xy fashions that empowered women — established the monochrome shoe, which is entirely one color — from the leather upper for the inside for the heel as well as the sole. YSL produced purple, blue and, yes, red monochrome shoes through the ’70s and ’80s. Another famed shoemaker, Charles Jourdan — under whom Louboutin apprenticed from the ’80s — also painted the soles of his louboutin shoes Melbourne.
Today, a flash of a red sole not merely screams “Louboutin” — in addition, it reveals something in regards to the wearer. She actually is, like her Medieval and Renaissance precursors, well-off or upwardly mobile. (Louboutin’s shoes cost between $400 and $6,000.) The red makes her feel powerful (like John the Fearless or YSL’s women), and also s-exy and perhaps even naughty. Within its profile from the shoe designer, the latest Yorker called the red soles “a marketing gimmick that renders an otherwise indistinguishable product instantly recognizable.” Yet for several designers and consumers — and also, more than likely, for Louboutin — the red sole is more than that.