"I did not have three thousand pairs of shoes. I had one thousand and sixty."--Imelda Marcos In recent years shoes have become objects of fanatical devotion, as covetable designs have gained iconic status and shoe designers have become heroes of popular culture. From Christian Louboutin's signature red sole and the Manolo Blahnik heels that helped to define Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw to the eco-friendly footwear of the future, shoes are now a fashion statement all their own. Is there such a thing as a leading shoe fashion anymore? The silhouettes, colors, and details on the feet of models and in the pages of fashion magazines used to be the ultimate in style, but they no longer represent all fashion footwear any more than haute couture represents all fashionable clothing. Renowned fashion specialist Jonathan Walford recounts the fascinating history of more than 350 leading women's shoe designers and manufacturers who have shaped modern footwear over the last sixty years. A rich array of sketches, photographs, and advertisements highlight superlative craftsmanship and lasting trends. Featuring designs by Bally, Beverly Feldman, Camper, Charles Jourdan, Chie Mihara, Christian Louboutin, Ferragamo, Herman Delman, Jimmy Choo, Joan & David, Kenneth Cole, Manolo Blahnik, Maud Frizon, Roger Vivier, Rupert Sanderson, and Sergio Rossi.
CHAPTER I Are there any women today, I wonder, like the girl wife of Jacopone da Todi, who are found in the midst of worldly brilliance wearing the hair shirt of piety and devotion over their spotless hearts? I doubt it. It is no wonder that Jacopone, that "smart" thirteenth-century Italian lawyer, became a great saint when he made that discovery, after his beautiful young wife's accidental death. It would make a saint of anybody. I am quite sure Gertrude is not like that. But then Gertrude is not my wife-as yet. Nor am I Jacopone. I am nothing more, I fear, than a contented voluptuary of a bookworm. Like King James, I feel that were it my fate to be a captive, I should wish to be shut up in a great library consuming my days among my fellow-prisoners, the blessed books. To distil the reading of a lifetime into a little wisdom for my poor wits, that has been all my aim and my ambition, if by any name so dynamic as ambition I may call it. An old young man is what I have been called, and Gertrude seems propelled by some potent urge to change me-God knows why. I have just been talking with-I mean listening to-Gertrude. We are to be married, she says, in three weeks. Time out of mind we have been friends, Gertrude and I, as our mothers had been before us. She, the highly modern spinster and I, such as I am, have been linked for years by an engagement which is not an engagement in the old sense at all. It is a sort of entente cordiale. An engagement in the conventional meaning of the word would be as abhorrent to Gertrude as the old-fashioned marriage. As soon would she think of "being given in marriage" with bell, book and orange blossoms as of calling herself "Mrs. Randolph Byrd"-or anything but Miss Bayard. That is what we have been discussing this gloomy afternoon in my snug little apartment before a garrulous fire. For Gertrude is not so absurd as to hesitate to call on me at my apartment any more than I would hesitate to call on her in Gramercy Park.
Mollie Peace was a woman of her time, one of a generation that saw the most extraordinary changes. Born in poverty, she lived through the hardship of the early twentieth century, and experienced the tragedies of war. She witnessed the birth of the motor car, the atom bomb, the computer and the Internet. A loyal wife and mother, she raised a family and knew the joy of great-grandchildren. To have experienced all this was no ordinary life. But like so many other women of her time, she nurtured a private desire that was always denied her. She wanted to be a writer. That was her real identity and she was a talented poet. But there was no opportunity for her. Until now. This collection is both a tribute to her and an encouragement to everyone who believes in their own purpose and desires. Never give up. Your words will live on.
"Brilliant. Alexander helps us to understand the complexities of race, gender, sexuality, migration, and identity as they intersect with creativity. A must-read for those interested in women's writing today."-Renee Larrier, author of Autofiction and Advocacy in the Francophone Caribbean
"Critically engages current topical issues with sophisticated scholarly readings. There is a tone of the transgressive that gives this work the kind of edge that always provides transcendence."-Carole Boyce Davies, author of Caribbean Spaces
"An authoritative and original study, characterized by meticulously researched scholarship, which focuses on the female body across a fascinating corpus of literary production in the Caribbean and elsewhere. This refreshing and effective interdisciplinary approach extends the boundaries of traditional literary analysis."-E. Anthony Hurley, author of Through a Black Veil
Using feminist and womanist theory, Simone Alexander analyzes literary works that focus on the black female body as the physical and metaphorical site of migration. She shows that over time black women have used their bodily presence to complicate and challenge a migratory process often forced upon them by men or patriarchal society.
'The Son of a Shoemaker' is a sequence of eighteen prose poems based on the early life of Hans Christian Anderson. The poems are collaged from a fictionalised biography of Andersen, 'The Shoemaker's Son' by Constance Buel Burnett.
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