Sunday, February 14, 2010

Manolo who?

Before Mr. Blahnik made so many of us palpitate as Carrie ran into the arms of Mr. Big in what seemed like a never-ending parade of delicious heels, there was Andre Perugia....
As if clairvoyant in terms of design, Mr. Perugia was well ahead of his time...can you imagine those fish shoes (above) were designed in the 1930s? and those delicious, round-toe orange mules (above) date from the same decade!

...and this was Mr. Perugia's design for Chanel, in the 1950s.

These incredible, metallic leather beauties date from the early 1920s!

Born in 1893 in Nice (France) of Italian parents, Mr. Perugia apprenticed at the shop of his father and by the age of 16, he had opened his own shop, selling handmade shoes. At the height of his career, which included projects for the most sought-after designers of his time, he had a shop in Paris, at Rue Faubourg St. Honore, one of the most prestigious design locations in the city. He died in 1977.

Mr. Perugia wrote a book entitled "From Eve to Rita Hayworth" in which he postulated that to understand a woman's personality, one should study her feet. 

I once attended a church wedding and sat in the pew next to a stranger - a much older, very distinguished and handsome gentleman. About half-way through the service, he leaned over and whispered in my ear: "you have very beautiful feet". I reacted immediately by hiding them under the pew and then realized I was wearing, very sexy and somewhat revealing slingbacks. He smiled and said: "don't be alarmed....I am an admirer of good feet and my wife knows that" .....the woman he was with, his junior by about 20 years, winked at me and said, as we both leaned behind his back: "do not worry, he is harmless and that is a great compliment, coming from him". I have never looked at my feet the same way since...I appreciate them now, as much as I appreciate great shoes!
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  1. What a great compliment.
    I've always disliked my feet.
    Love those shoes - timeless.

  2. I am not fond of my feet either,'s just that since that comment, I appreciate that boring old feet can be someone's delight! Happy VDay to you, Jan! oxoxox