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Minishopaholiccover

Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Shoe Diva is an aesthetic that was prevalent among commercial products and media targeting adult women from roughly the early 2000s to the early 2010s. It is characterized by its fascination on shoes and feminine clothing, shopping obsession, urban single female lifestyles, high maintenance living, pre-modernist sincerity, a proclivity for anything bright and feminine, 60s aesthetic cues, Parisian motifs, 'diva' personas, presence in chick-lit, and loopy, hand-drawn fonts and linework.

This aesthetic was ubiquitous yet unnamed at its height, mostly being addressed as a general 'girly' or 'feminine' style.

Shoe Diva is adjacent to other aesthetics; it's a bolder, older, more primarily-colored iteration of Pink Parisian, and a more mature, worldly version of the Girly Girl aesthetic. It was a precursor to the moodier, black-tinged, youth oriented Triple Chic.

History[]

Beginnings (1998-2000)[]

Shoe Diva's origins are hard to trace as a previously unnamed aesthetic, but its prevalence in pop culture was likely ignited by the airing of the 1998 HBO romantic drama Sex and the City, centering on the lives of single women in their 30s in New York City, a codified the Shoe Diva attitude and style of dress, particularly in regards to the show's protagonist, Carrie Bradshaw. Carrie is known throughout the duration of the show to spend copious amounts of money on shoes alone, but also clothes in general. She has a preoccupation with feminine aesthetics, dating, and the 'chaotic' single woman lifestyle. The popularity of the show was part of a zeitgeist oriented towards adult women for whom shopping, shoes, and fashion played a central role.

Prime (2000-2010)[]

The proliferation of the Shoe Diva extended to the broad literary genre of chick-lit. The hit book (and later, book series) Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella was a prime example, garnering a film adaptation starring Isla Fisher. The novel covers for this series, in particular, were prime examples of the Shoe Diva aesthetic, featuring clothing, shoes, and shopping bags as motifs. The protaganist's persona as a self-identified 'shopaholic' was also key to its relevance to this aesthetic.

Chickensaladchick

Chicken Salad Chick logo

2008 also saw the founding of the chain Chicken Salad Chick, founded by chicken salad mogul Stacy Brown. The restaurant's empowering backstory as a route towards wealth for a single mother and its logo are relevant to this aesthetic. The logo features many Shoe Diva motifs, including shopping bags, girly clothing, and a feminine, blonde woman.

Decline (2008-present)[]

The aesthetic Shoe Diva was briefly mentioned on the official Twitter of the Y2K Aesthetic Institute. Outside of the Institute, the aesthetic has not garnered much modern day attention, likely due to its relatively garish and overly sincere nature.

Visuals[]

Key elements of this aesthetic include:

  • Shoes, typically pumps, heeled boots, and ballet flats
  • Feminine clothing, typically dresses, frills, and bows
  • Shopping motifs, such as shopping bags
  • Urban motifs, such as department stores and Parisian cityscapes
  • Sincerity, in the form of media and products proclaiming a love of fashion or a relatable human experience
  • 60s aesthetic cues
  • Parisian iconography
  • Chick lit books
  • Loopy fonts
  • Hand-drawn aesthetics
  • Over-consumption
  • Fluffy textures
  • Sparkles
  • Makeup
  • Feminine dog breeds, like purse pups and puddles
  • Crowns, hearts, stars
  • Thin, well-dressed women as audience surrogates
  • Vogue magazine
  • Chanel logos
  • Complex lattes orders
  • Girly cocktails, such as Cosmopolitans and Martinis

Media[]

TV Shows[]

  • Absolutely Fabulous (1992)
  • Sex and the City (1998)
  • America's Next Top Model (2003)
  • Project Runway (2004)
  • Ugly Betty (2006)

Movies[]

  • Legally Blonde (2001)
  • The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
  • Priceless (2006)
  • 27 Dresses (2008)
  • Sex and the City (2008)
  • The September Issue (2009)
  • Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009)
  • Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (2016)

Books[]

  • Bridget Jones's Diary (1996)
  • Shopaholic (novel series) (2001)
  • Anything by Sophie Kinsella
  • Anything by Lauren Weisberger
  • Modern Girl's Guides by Jane Buckingham
  • Any feminine guidebooks with a frilly cover

Music[]

  • "Labels or Love" - Fergie
  • “Bills, Bills, Bills” - Destiny’s Child
  • “Shoes” - Liam Kyle Sullivan
  • "Vogue" - Madonna
  • “Rich Girl” - Gwen Stefani feat. Eve

Miscellaneous[]

Gallery[]

Resources[]

External links to help you get a better understanding of this aesthetic:

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