The dynamic sisters Shweta and Ruchi Bhatia have one thing in common for sure; their love for fashion. Shweta, a self professed shopaholic also happens to be the Fashion & Beauty Editor at Femina Middle East while Ruchi works in finance.
Follow their journey and their blog at www.thefword.in
Long before spiked heels with exotic names (Louboutin, anyone?) became objects of desire, chicks have been shoecrazy. Buying a pair of shoes has always had near-supernatural effects like instantly updating an outfit from last year or just making you feel hotter than hell. Turns out, we’ve always been wired for shoe lust, even when the going gets tough.
First of all, there’s some serious moodboosting going on when you try on any kind of apparel. Did you know the
neurotransmitter dopamine is released, providing a feel-good high, similar to taking a drug .The dopamine then
increases until you swipe your credit card. Usually, the high then flatlines, and guilt starts creeping in…except, that is, when the item you’re purchasing is a pair of shoes.
But it’s not just dopamine at work. Shoes’ mood-altering traits also come from another brain reaction. Buying new footwear stimulates an area of the brain’s prefrontal cortex termed the collecting spot. Shoes are a collector’s
item, whether women realize they perceive them that way or not. Collecting each type provides a mini-adrenaline
rush similar to the satisfaction a stamp collector gets when he acquires a rare find.
All those wonderful feelings are intensified when you choose high heels… but again, it’s biology, not Jimmy Choo, at work. Like most animals, we’re wired to
Heels carry historical significance as well, adding to their appeal. In previous centuries, only the wealthy wore high heels — everyone else had practical footwear to do manual labor.
We wear our hearts on our soles. Every shoe tells a story. Shoes speak of status, gender (usually), ethnicity, religion, profession, and politics. Last, far from least, they can be drop-dead gorgeous. Politically correct or not, there is an irresistible urge to pet a pair of shoes; put it on a leash; take it to bed. Shoes made of rhinestones, feathers, sequins, buttons, bows, beads, grommets, rings, chains, ribbons, silk brocade, bits of coral and lace — everything, perhaps, but woven unicorn forelock. Fun fact- Manolo Blahnik was known as the fifth character in the series that marketed him the most, Sex and the City.
Ferragamo insisted style was not enough; shoes must be comfortable. And Blahnik? What about complaints that his shoes are torture? “I haven’t heard that,” he said. “Women tell me they love my shoes. Some never take them off.”
The desire to wear something different, distinctive, and decorative—that is to say, the instinct for fashion—has been around for a very long time. Shoes are theatre. Shoes turn you into someone else. You can’t be a dominatrix in a sneaker. If you are in a high heel, you are in pain, and you are going to make someone pay for it. I know women who will kill for the right shoes. You put on heels, and suddenly you are six inches higher! Who doesn’t want to be six inches taller? Even men—more men than you can imagine—want to. It’s a play. It’s a power thing. Vivenne Westwood, the British designer responsible for the punk look, is famous for having brought supermodel Naomi Campbell to her knees when she sent Campbell down the runway in a pair of platform shoes so high that the supermodel stumbled and fell.
Surely, it’s all those digits. Toe cleavage. Heaving arches. It’s the shoe that is the erotic object. Cinderella’s glass slipper, not her foot, ignited the Prince’s ardor. The needle-sharp heel called the stiletto, from the Italian word for “dagger,” appeared in the postwar years of the early 1950s. After the war fashion turned feminine. Technology contributed a steel
core allowing for a thin heel that lifted the shoe up like a skyscraper. Voilà! The beautiful, dangerous stiletto stepped out. Beautiful? Yes. Practical? Hardly. In one sense, high heels represent the grand folly of shoe evolution. “It’s as if you invented a practical item—say, toilet paper—then embedded it with bits of glass just to make it beautiful,” said one curator. It’s no secret that women adore shoes.
When you are blue, buying a new pair is an instant mood lifter. When you feel great, you make a trip to the shoe store in celebration. The truth is even if you love a pair, if you can’t walk in them, don’t buy them. Limping around in heels is decidedly ungraceful.Think about balance and we’re not talking about the kind you need to walk. A thicker-heeled shoe grounds a heavily layered look, when something dainty could look off balance.
“Why shoes? They fit if you gain or lose weight. They make me feel pretty. They make me feel sexy. They’re a great antidepressant. I don’t have a pet or a boyfriend. I have my shoes.”