Galerie des Modes, 55e Cahier, 1ere Figure

Posted by muhammad nasrudin

1. Plain taffeta morning gown. 2. Hat à la Harpie.  3. Sabots foures* à la Chinoise. 4. Shoes and Sabots of different types. (1787)

"I am too much of a friend to the beautiful sex not to let them know ... how much I fear them falling from the smallness of the heels in fashion today.  If one supports an ordinary mass on a base, the thinner the support, the more difficult it is to work it: thus, women's heels are today needles, on which it is difficult to walk when the pavement is uneven, they are at every moment in danger of losing their equilibrium and falling, at the risk of breaking their heads, an arm, or a leg, as was once said by the singer, and in a less perilous case:

Little one, little one, your heels are low,
As soon as someone touches you, you fall to the ground.

"The invention, elsewhere, of little heels was poorly done, since the littler they are, the larger the foot seems ... Women's large heels, à l'anglaise, render the foot smaller to the view and gives them a seat which allows them to walk safely: instead the thin ones cannot give any support to the leg."

The Page without Title, September 3, 1775

* Sabot, literally "hoof", was used to describe the ruched ruffles that covered the end of the sleeve in the late 1770s; it also referred to a wooden clog, and came back into high fashion to mean a type of shoe.  I cannot find a meaning for the adjective foure but suspect it might relate to the ruffle around the opening.