October 16, 2018
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An Ancient Shoe Isn’t Just For Russell Crowe

Gladiator sandals made fashion scene 100 years ago

When dedicated follower of fashion Isabella Fine browsed the pages of her spring fashion and lifestyle magazines, including Vogue and Vanity Fair, she noticed immediately the Grecian style of footwear making a comeback this season — gladiator sandals. What struck Fine most about this trend was the recollection of a photo that’s been in her family for years. Depicted in Brooklyn in 1910 are her mother, Rebecca Nadelstein (who was born in Romania in 1880 and died in 1958), and her five oldest siblings, including the two oldest, Matilda Martha and Rosalind, who had their picture taken wearing gladiator-style shoes.

The style-conscious post-Victorians apparently embraced the dramatic look in shoes as we are this spring. Page after magazine page features the look. Fashion bloggers write that while the style is a bit masculine and daring, the gladiator sandal creates an exotic look that pairs nicely with another spring trend, the trapeze dress. Other advice on wearing gladiators remains the same today as it did 100 years ago: Keep your outfit and other accessories simple; let the shoes be the focal point.


Available at Dillard’s, top to bottom: Gianni Bini silver metallic, Gianni Bini red leather beaded, Calvin Klein gold metallic, Jessica Simpson black zipped front, Jessica Simpson bronze lace-up

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