Table of contents:
- Valenki and ankle boots: what they wore until the 60s of the 20th century
- Vera Aralova: the leading artist of the All-Union House of Models and a freedom-loving woman who had a black husband
- How Aralova put Russian women in boots and surprised Paris
- A gift to foreign businessmen and the return of "Russian boots" to their homeland in 15 years
There is an opinion that only imported clothes were fashionable in the USSR. Domestic coats, jackets, shoes, dresses and so on did not delight people. Huge queues were lined up for clothes of foreign manufacturers, speculation flourished. Yes, it was like that. Unfortunately, Soviet designers could not bring their ideas to life due to the lack of interesting fabrics, materials and accessories. However, there is one invention that was made by a Soviet person and became a real sensation in the fashion world. But few people know about this today. Read on how the boots that every woman currently owns were created.
Valenki and ankle boots: what they wore until the 60s of the 20th century
Surprisingly, until the early 60s, ladies all over the world wore shoes without a zipper. Ankle boots, which were called boots and were produced for different seasons, were very common. In warm weather they used shoes, in cold weather - boots.
The boots that were produced in the USSR were not distinguished by their beauty and variety. The upper was made of tarpaulin, and tanned leather (yuft) was used for the bottom. A lot of shoes were produced, and, what can only be envied, they were made from natural materials, from leather, suede, chevro.
When winter came and the temperature dropped, women put on felt boots. In the city, they wore short models, and some ladies even managed to put them on along with shoes, so that they could just throw off their boots at the dances and stay in elegant shoes.
Vera Aralova: the leading artist of the All-Union House of Models and a freedom-loving woman who had a black husband
Now we need to talk about the talented artist Vera Ippolitovna Aralova, the daughter of a scout who served in the 1st Cavalry Army of Budyonny. Despite this fact, it was difficult for Aralov to be called a typical Soviet woman. For example, her husband was a dark-skinned Lloyd Patterson, who graduated from American drama school. And the whole country knew their son, because it was he who played the child of the heroine Lyubov Orlova in the incredibly popular comedy "Circus".
Since 1948, Aralova became the head of the All-Union House of Models on Kuznetsky Most, was the chief artist. Everything was calm and quiet here. Fashion designers were engaged in the development of new collections of workwear, which they tried to give an elegant look and make it comfortable, and also created weekend and everyday models for the Soviet people. In those days, they did not talk about "bows" and "trends", there were no such concepts at all. Natural fabrics, wearability and practicality were considered the main thing. As they say, in a feast, and in the world, and in good people.
The outfits were shown by clothing demonstrators, now they are called fashion models. The girls dreamed of touring abroad, but there were problems with that. Those who went abroad were considered potential spies, and fashion models were considered girls who chose a frivolous profession.
Since September 1953, the country has been headed by Nikita Khrushchev, who liked to prove to foreigners that Russia is the most progressive country. Unfortunately, he practically did not understand fashion.
How Aralova put Russian women in boots and surprised Paris
In 1959, the myrrh of fashion was shocked by a significant event: it was decided to hold a week of "Russian Fashion" in Paris. Aralova, as the head of the Fashion House, was very excited.What to show? Collections of work clothes for the builders of the communist society? Modest work blouses and straight skirts worn to go to work? Unlike Khrushchev, who believed that this would shock the foreigners, Aralova was less optimistic.
And then Aralova decided to use fur. Hats, coats and capes were sewn from it, and the Pavlovo-Posad shawls were supposed to make the image complete. But what about the shoes? Do not wear boring boats with a sable fur coat.
Aralova solved the issue simply brilliantly - the models should be shod in boots. The world of haute couture has never seen anything like it. Of course, what was produced for ordinary citizens was not suitable. Sketches of graceful boots were made, which differed in one feature: they had a zipper. Otherwise, the girls simply would not have had time to change during the show, since it was very difficult to remove ordinary models from their feet. Boots with heels and zippers were to be sewn in the workshops of the Bolshoi Theater.
A gift to foreign businessmen and the return of "Russian boots" to their homeland in 15 years
Predictably, the work clothes did not impress the French. But fur products were simply delighted! Russian beauties, in beautiful fur coats, scarves and strange boots, made a splash. Aralova was attacked by French manufacturers, many wanted to conclude a contract for the production of such interesting and stylish shoes. Alas, the practice of issuing patents for inventions of this kind was not widespread in the USSR. Unfortunately, the leadership of the delegation reacted rather lightly to the proposals, believing that boots are some kind of nonsense that is not worth attention.
The enthusiasm subsided, the fashion week came to an end, the delegation flew back to the USSR. However, less than six months later, a novelty began to appear in European stores, namely demi-season boots with a zipper. Moreover, they were released simultaneously by different shoe factories. Of course, they did not even remember the inventor, that is, Vera Aralova. As they say, you were offered - you refused, blame yourself. It was rare to hear that these were the so-called "Russian boots".
This is how the Soviet fashion designer presented the world with an idea that brought billions to the shoe business. By the way, in the USSR, boots with zippers did not begin to be mass-produced soon, fifteen years after Fashion Week. And the patterns were Austrian. Today, such models are worn by everyone, and they do not even know that it was in Russia that a comfortable and practical type of women's shoes was first created. Nowadays, on the contrary, boots without a zipper are considered a rarity.
By the way, not everyone knows that Russian folk costumes were mostly men's clothing. For example, recognizable all over the world sundress, which the king tried to prohibit wearing.