Saturday, March 28, 2015

Definition of Espadrille

Definition of Espadrille

Espadrilles are shoes that are commonly worn by both hippies and the fashion forward. While they are easily recognizable today, it is hard to believe that espadrilles have such a long history: from a 4,000 year-old-skeleton to a 13th-century soldier, the legacy of the handmade espadrille lives on.

Who Wears Espadrilles?

    Espadrilles are worn by both men and women. Originally, the shoes were worn by both sexes, though the modern platform espadrilles are more feminine. Spanish peasants wore and made Espadrilles themselves, weaving the strong straw soles and sewing the fabric tops together. Today, espadrilles are a soft, casual fashion statement, worn by celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Heidi Klum and produced by fashion designers like Yves St. Laurent and Ralph Lauren.

What are Espadrilles?

    Espadrilles are traditionally flat shoes, produced in natural colors. The soles of espadrilles are usually made out of straw or wood, and the tops of the espadrilles are made out of fabric, usually cotton. Espadrilles were originally made by hand, and handmade espadrilles are still relatively easy to find. The company Creation Catalane, for example, is owned by two French women who make the espadrilles by hand. Creation Catalane has been around and creating espadrilles for more than 150 years. Today, espadrilles are made in platform styles in addition to flat, and feature dyed fabrics in addition to more natural colors.

Where did Espadrilles Originate?

    Espadrilles were originally made in France and Spain. In Spain, espadrilles are known as "espardenyes." Espadrilles were produced in the Catalonia region of Spain, and also in the mid-Pyrenees in France.

When Were Espadrilles First Made?

    A style of shoes believed to be similar to espadrilles were discovered in a Spanish cave and dated back almost 4,000, but espadrilles truly took off as a style in the 1200s, where they were worn by soldiers for centuries. Espadrilles moved from functional to fashionable in the 1950s, when Yves St. Laurent modified the shoe, adding ribbon and platforms to the original style.

Why are they Called Espadrilles?

    The name espadrille comes from "esparto," the Spanish name for the plant that the shoes soles are made out of. Currently, though, espadrilles are made out of other materials in addition to the traditional esparto and cloth. Some espadrilles have rubber soles, others have tops made of canvas or cotton. Because espadrilles are made out of fabric and plant matter, they are best worn in hot, dry climates and it is not advisable to wear them in wet weather or near water.

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