Silk shoes with yellow silk covered heelsPossibly French, 1760sBSM P83.205.AB with P98.44 buckle
Silk shoes with yellow silk covered heels
Possibly French, 1760s
BSM P83.205.AB with P98.44 buckle

The High Court

The Louis Heel

Following in the footsteps of his predecessor, King Louis XV (reign 1715-1774) also left his mark on high heel history. Although men began abandoning high heels by the 1730s, heels remained important in women's fashion. During the reign of Louis XV, fashionable heels for women were curved through the waist and splayed at the base to increase stability. The French favoured a delicate interpretation of this style, while the English preferred heels that were a bit stouter.

This combination of graceful shape and sturdy construction was revived and revamped in the 1860s. Although christened the "Louis heel," the later heel featured a much more dramatic curve where the heel met the shoe.
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