• Sex, Power, and High Heels: An Interview with Shoe Curator Elizabeth Semmelhack I came to the Bata Shoe Museum as a cultural art historian with a strong interest in things that are made for immediate consumption. Unlike a sculpture or painting that's intended to stand the test of time and is one person's unique vision, shoes are made to meet the needs of somebody who's situated within a particular society at a particular moment in time. For that reason, shoes serve as interes…
  • Dress Hound Cherie Federau Explains How She Makes Vintage Work for Her I’ve pretty much always been a little bit fashion-nutty, ever since I was about 16 years old and I discovered Vogue. I started like a lot of other people, buying vintage to recreate the looks that I saw but couldn’t afford as a teenager. Then slowly over the years, as my hobby turned into more of an obsession, I became interested in the designers behind the labels and it just snowballed from there…
  • Shoe Collector Jonathan Walford on Why Footwear Is So Seductive I moved to Toronto in the early 1980s because I wanted to work at the Royal Ontario Museum, which had a costume and textiles department. A job came up at the Bata Shoe Museum, so I ended up working there as the assistant curator and then as curator. Shoes were thrust upon me; they were not something I initially chose. At Bata, I had 11 years of experience working with shoes on a daily basis…
  • Good Girls and Bad Boys: How to Achieve That Cool '50s Rockabilly Look Jayne Mansfield is buried in my hometown. You could drive past the cemetery and see her heart-shaped headstone from the road. We had our own historical society, a tiny little museum, if you can even call it that. I remember going on a class trip there once. Some of her things were displayed, like long sequined cocktail dresses and some of her little personal effects. That stayed with me into my ad…
  • Leading the Charge Against Casual Style, Armed With Antique Clothes and a Bike Tziporah Salamon is used to being photographed—by everyone from New York City tourists to famous "New York Times" street-fashion photographer Bill Cunningham. She's impossible for shutterbugs to resist, when they catch her riding around the city on her turquoise Bianchi, often a symphony of lush colors, decked head-to-toe in exquisite, embroidered, antique fabrics. Salamon also caught the eye of 3…
  • Our Bodies, Our Stilettos Behold the power of the stiletto heel. Despite all the advances women have made, it's one fetish we can't seem to escape, a paradox epitomized by "Sex and the City." The characters embodied a late-'90s vision of independent women, enjoying the spoils of feminism: They had the financial power to support themselves, and the personal freedom to sleep around. Yet, they turned into swooning schoolgirls…