Cartoon characters Buster Brown and his sister Mary Jane both wore Mary Jane shoes in 1905. The style was practical for active children – easy to don and securely fastened to busy feet. Yet by the turn of the 21st century, Mary Jane styles have been adopted by the high fashion industry and fetish culture in forms that are considerably less practical for certain forms of activity. This research traces the transition of the Mary Jane through the twentieth century, from the feet of children to the pages of Vogue and ultimately the couch of Freud. Along the way, this trajectory is analyzed to determine how the functionality of Mary Janes shifts from the playgrounds of childhood to the catwalks of adults.
Arts and Humanities | Fine Arts | History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology | Visual Studies
Ruff, Georgina, "From Playground to Fetish: The Identity of (the) Mary Jane" (2012). Mid-America College Art Association Conference 2012 Digital Publications. 2.