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High Heels: Fashion, Feminity and Seduction


Whether they be red, black, narrow or wide, the high heal has always been a symbol of femininity, even distinction. This surprising book reminds us that it is also an indispensable object of seduction for photography and for the photographer.

They can be warn timidly, small, associated with suits or vacation dresses. Or can be the fiery and bubbling display of fancy evenings or fashion shows. The high heel’s history – first warn by women in Ancient Greece – has always been related to photography. Some consider this extension of the female silhouette a superfluous accessory, where photographers in love with the body find an essential element to their graphic compositions. Through fashion photography, High Heels: Fashion, Femininity and Seduction reminds us that over the past few years, the object has transgressed fetishism, provoking a massive regain in popularity. Both for the general public and for fashion designers who rekindle the cult in their designs and images.

The book’s significant pictures demonstrate the intimate liaison with the show, led by French designer Christian Louboutin. His models can be seen in divine creations by Marilyn Minter, Bettina Rheims or David La Chappelle and affirm their sensuality in scenes bordering on pornography. For these portraits of women twisting or hanging, the shoe is no longer just a way to stand. It is the guardian of a supernatural language, full of charm, colors bariolées, glitter and eccentricity. A language unique to fashion that these photographers were able to understand, adopt, even enrich.

For them, it was unquestionable to leave a nude totally abandoned. Putting her on a ten centimeter pedestal is a way, if illusory, to give her the power to help explore the symbol of the femme fatale. A woman with a nearly artificial body, on whom we could have performed a plastic and pointy transplant. When the pose, more sensual than surprising, shows the subject tamed, sitting or lying down, the object brings her submissiveness a level of dignity. And when she is standing upright, playing with shadows, walking graciously, escaping down a street while skipping, it is not the vocabulary of seduction one must invoke, but the most dignified expressions of elegance.

Jonas Cuénin

High Heels : Fashion, Feminity and Seduction
Goliga, November 30, 2011
192 pgs / 120 color
ISBN: 9781935202691

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