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Footwear

Giorgio Riello

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The importance of shoes in twenty-first-century Western society extends well beyond their functional use. Through their material appearance—their texture, weight, and design—shoes express abstract ideas that range from sexual appeal to allure, smartness, and informality. Shoes, therefore, are not just accessories that decorate the body or allow people to embrace the latest fashion; they convey messages that are understood across society. High heels stand for exaggerated femininity; red shoes for

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