Those Kinky Sixties 2

In the early 1960s, "kinky boots," which had been popular in the underground fetish scene for decades, began to emerge into the fashion mainstream, as demonstrated by this article from the January 3, 1964 issue of Time magazine.

Notably, the article makes no mention of the pervy provenance of the "lady-lion-tamer" boot that it breathlessly describes, making only oblique references to its impracticality and sexiness in contrast to the perfunctory rubber rain boot. The kinkiness is further obscured by references to wholesome characters from children's literature such as Christopher Robin and Peter Pan.

The specific examples given in the second paragraph, "made of fake leopard or silk faille or nylon mesh or even real leather" reference an article in the May 12, 1963 New York Times fashion section, which led off with four photos of those specific styles. Clearly the writer of the Time piece was using the previous year's newspaper article as a source. Even that article, written by Leonard Sloane, called boots "a seemingly unlikely prospect for fashion honors in the women's shoe industry" and marveled at the rapidity with which high-fashion boots had caught on in the American market. However, Sloane also ignores boots' long history as a prominent sexual fetish item.

The reference to the magazine's BOOKS section directs the reader to this photograph of teen-age novelist Caroline Glyn.

It's hard to imagine a world where even style-conscious women were dubious about wearing boots and had to be encouraged to do so by articles such as this one. But, just two weeks later, the New York Times would run a helpful article on the proper care of leather boots. And, unknown to the editors of Time magazine, the go-go boot craze was just around the corner.

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