English to Chinese: Annotated translation of Vintage Shoes, a discussion on fashion translation General field: Art/Literary Detailed field: Textiles / Clothing / Fashion
Source text - English Foreword
When you are a child, adults, especially teachers, are always asking you,” What are you going to do when you grow up?” I was pretty lazy and got so bored with this question and made up an answer, “ A shoe designer,” I had no idea that this was a real job but people began to think I was obsessed with shoes and started giving me any information about it. One day some one gave me a book about a Roger Vivier exhibition and I realized shoe design could be a really beautiful job, Vivier’s shoes spoke by themselves—he understood that a shoe has a bone structure and that bone structure has to be perfect. He covers his shoes with beautiful embroidery and embellishment but underneath it all is a perfect plain pump with perfect proportions—pure perfection.
For me, there are two ways of approaching shoe design: you can create a shoe that becomes a small moment in time or you can work in a deeper way with a more personal and perennial perspective like Vivier. Quick consumerist design is not my thing, it’s not the way I think. I am not obsessed with doing something first. When it’s ready, it’s ready; if not you’ll all just have to wait because the process can take years and time is on my side! My priority has always been to create things of beauty. For me, shoes are like peces of jewellery that only the craziest woman would want to throw away. If gives me a lot of joy to see my shoes being worn for years and not dating.
My passion for the past has shaped and moulded me, I have never been influenced by modern Fashion. I love the movies of Ernst Lubitsch, George Cukor, Josef von Sternbergh and Luis Bunuel; in particular, the close ups of Catherine Deneuve’s feet in Belle de Jour wearing a perfect pair of Roger Vivier’s Pilgrim pumps. I love the 1950s and the pure classicism of couture, a time when fashion and shoe design was totally linked, and I am inspired by the work of Salvatore Ferragamo, who made glorious shoes out of cork and was incredibly inventive with leftover materials in the 1940s.
For me a fantastic shoe has to have a purity of line, some history behind it, an exuberance of presentation and sometimes I love them just because of who wore them. The designs of my own that I work the best are the Very Prive, the Love Shoe( because it kept me in business!), the Pigalle, the YSL and my espadrille designs with the low Cleavage that were considered bizarre at the time but have now become classics—but I love so many of them!
My long time love of the French showgirl and stage performers means I design a lot of very high heels that lengthen the leg and work best when in movement and combine a lot of elements of fantasy. But people ask all the time, “ How can I walk in these heels?” I answer with the best compliment I remember that came from a woman who lives here in Paris. She said,”Since I wore your shoes, Christian, I know Paris…I know my street much better. Heels permit me to take the time to look at the architecture of my street. Now I take time to look at things.” High heels give you time to think, to look at your surroundings—a camel has sen more in life than a very quick horse! Women should live to the rhythm of high-heeled shoes!
Our obsession with vintage fashion has created a new collectable—the vintage shoe. This untapped market means it has never been a better time to slip you toes into the perfect pair, be it a 1950s stiletto by master craftsman Roger Vivier or a towering 1970s wedge in pastel python skin by Terry de Havilland. Vintage shoes can evoke fashion moments of pure glamour: Marilyn Monroe;s scarlet satin rhinestone-studded Ferragamo stilettos are iconic, fused into our collective consciousness because of their starring role in a show-stopping song-and-dance scene in the film Gentlement Prefer Blondes of 1953. The shoe’s star power was further reinforced when they wer sold at Christie’s in New York for $ 42,000 in 1999.
Even without the magical associations with a famous film star, shoes are still eminently collectable especially when created by the mater-craftsman of shoe design such as Andre Perugia, Manolo Blahnik, Maud Frizon and Christian Louboutin. Like a classic car, there are high-preformance shoes, subtly styled and ergonomically engineered, deluxe and must-have when first purchased but undervalued in the otherwise buoyant vintage clothing market today.
Is this because shoes still suffer from the associations of practical necessity? Certainly we make contact with the world through our feet—this is why shoes are so significant. Shoes are protective, a necessity of everyday life, allowing us the freedom of mobility we demand in the twenty-first century, and it is significant that when women demand more freedom in culture they wear shoes that are more practical; shoes that make it easier to leave the confines of the home. Shoes then, have meaning and messages that go far beyond mere function and as a result achieve many spectacular forms, from the mordantly practical to the surreally sculptural.
Shoes, like clothes, have the shape-shifting ability to reflect each decade’s zeitgeist: Pietro Yanturni’s exquisite satin slippers evoke the pampered grandes horizontals of the Belle Epoque, a woman of leisure and pleasure who could afford to spend a fortune on personal adornment; the 1930s tango shoe demanded a different brand of femininity, a ferocious flapper sipping the latest cocktail and rouging her knees for erotic effect. The Charles Jourdan flat calls to mind a string-limbed twiggy in Swinging ‘60s London, while many a pair of cone-heeled Manolo Blahniks were sported by power-dressed female executives in the 1980s boardroom.
This book is designed to be the starting point for any budding collector of vintage shoes and, by charting the history of the twentieth-century shoe in all its major manifestations, gives the visual tools needed to identify significant styles and their designers. For those fascinated by shoes (and who isn’t) this book follows the change from the Louis heels and button boots of the Edwardian era through to the jewel-encrusted collectables of today. Enjoy!
1900-19 Edwardian Elegance
The Edwardian era was a time of great social change, a period of history in which the conservative values of the Victorian era were being overturned by women who wanted shared ownership of the world. In London and New York, suffragettes were demonstrating for equal rights with men, storming the bastions of patriarchy and vociferously raising questions about the domestic servility of womankind. In the intellectual circles of Vienna, Sigmund Freud was analyzing the relationship between human sexuality and repression, and in Paris, Paul Poiret revolutionized the elite world of haute couture.
For Poiret, mainstream Edwardian fashion made ’over-decorated bundles’ of women, so tightly swaddled were they in the frills, furbelows and frou-frou of such an extravagantly decorated look. Couturiers such as Callot-Soeurs, Doucet and Paguin in Paris were tightly corseting women into hourglass shapes with heavy full-length skirts and high-collared boned blouses that made physical activity difficult, and the feminine ideal called for enormous hair-dos padded out for bulk and requiring the ministrations of a maid throughout the day.
In Poiret’s theatrical designs, staid Edwardian matrons were radically transformed into sensual, exotic beings, fleshy odalisques awaiting the attentions of their amour in an over-heated Turkish harem or a deeply decadent opium den. His cavalcade of feminine types included Neoclassical nymphs in Empire-line tunics. Oriental femmes fatales in fiery orange and shimmering silver kimono gowns, and bewitching vamps in Indian turbans inspired by Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes, which was scandalizing Paris in 1908. Poiret’s gowns were shocking; they appeared to have no formal structure, no rigorously laced corsets underneath keeping warm flesh at bay-sensuality was now in vogue. His skirt shapes were also significantly straighter and shorter than ever before, perfect for showing off a shapely ankle rather than just the shy peep of a modest Victorian toe.. Shoes came to the forefront of fashion like never before.
The New Woman
As the Edwardian foot became more visible, so tiny feet continued to be prized as erotic symbols of femininity. Many cultures love the small-footed womanl the bound foot of pre-modern China is the most extrme example of this cultural attitude—an attitude that suggests that men’s feet are for walking and women’s for attracting men. In the nineteenth century, such foot worship was openly displayed in the fashion for Viennese staggerers, boudoir shoes of such extravagant height and tiny length that they blatantly revealed their function was as a fetish object rathe than a practicality.
Small feet were also considered a sign of good breeding and gentility, symptomatic of a woman who laboured little and had someone willing to provide for her. Tiny feet were such visible signs of wealth and social status that many women were prepared to suffer in shoes two sizes too small to achieve the right effect. The subsequent pinching created a pain so excruciating that it discouraged walking and perpetuated a degree of domestic dependence.
Change was afoot, though-most notably seen in women’s increased appearance on the city streets, whether shopping in the new cathedrals of consumption- the department stores- attending a matinee at the theatre or undertaking philanthropic works among the city’s poor. This new social mobility began to be reflected in the design of shoes, with the dainty thin-soled slippers of the Victorian era, which suggested a woman’s place was in the home as a demure and decorative object, beginning to be replaced by a sturdier type of day shoe that copied design detail from men’s footwear styles such as the Oxford.
Edwardian street shoes for women came in black or tan and had narrow toes, which became broader as the century progressed, arched insteps, Louis heels and leather soles. High-heeled buttoned or laced ankle boots with pliable “flexura’ soles were an everyday fashion staple worn with the new tailor-mades or two-piece suits. This practical look was associated with the “New Woman’, a career-driven creature who rejected the trivial decoration and discomfort of early Edwardian dress, a look that was becoming increasingly anachronistic in the brave new world of the twentieth century.
Translation - Chinese 前言
我過去的愛好把我裝備成今天的我，我從未受到現代時裝的影響。我喜歡恩斯特•劉別謙(Ernst Lubitsch)、喬治•丘克(George Cukor)、約瑟‧馮‧史丹堡(Josef Von Sternberg) 和 路易斯•布努埃爾(Luis Bunuel)的電影。尤其是電影裏那些鏡頭，特寫了凱撒琳•丹尼芙(Catherine Deneuve)穿著Roger Vivier 的Pilgrim Pumps的腳，使我非常的喜歡。我喜歡五十年代和當時時裝的那種純粹經典風格，那時是一個鞋子和時裝設計連成一體的時代。我受薩瓦托•菲拉格慕(Salvatore Ferragamo)的作品薰陶，他用軟木製造出一雙雙美麗的鞋子，這個用剩餘物料來造鞋子的意念，在４０年代來說是非常有原創性的。
我認為一隻了不起的鞋子一定要有純美的線條、一點的歷史和生氣勃勃的展現方法，有時候穿著那些鞋子的人，是令我喜歡那些鞋子的原因。我自己最好的設計包括Very Prive、 the Love Shoe（因為它保住我的生意！）、the Pigalle和the YSL，還有那些帆布露趾縫鞋子。當時人們都覺得這個設計很古怪，不過現在已經變成經典了。我實在愛死這個設計了！
克理斯．羅勃堂(Christian Louboutin )
I have already finished the MA in Interpreting and Translating course in the University of Bath, UK. The topic of my dissertation was Annotated translation of Vintage Shoes, a discussion on fashion translation.
I specialised in English when I was studying in Taiwan for my bachelor degree. During the 4 years, I took Translation: Literacy Class( year 2), Translation(year 3), Journalism Translation(year 4). Therefore, I am well equipped with basic translation skills before I went to England to study translation and interpreting. In the past year in England, I have learnt how to translate advertisement, radio script, booklets etc. With all the translation skills I have acquired in University of Bath, I am very sure that I can work as a translator in your company and handle works from different fields as well.
I am an outgoing person who is very good at communicating with different kinds of people. I not only can work as a team player but can also work individually.