Sunday, 23 July 2017

Walk Like An Egyptian

Silver & black leather court shoes by Rayne mid 1980s (they also did Aztec and Aboriginal petroglyph designs)

King Tutankhamun (in sandals) with Anubis and Nephthys. c1351-1362 BC. Photo by Gianni Dagli Orti/CORBIS

The Bangles 1986.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Lotus Brogued Courts: As Seen In...

Lotus tan court shoes c1945

Typical war time indicators are the different coloured woods in the stack heel, the fact that it's under side hasn't been varnished. The scant lining materials - cloth under the vamp, no heel piece and the leather for the sides and insole very thin.

Tan court shoes were a popular choice during the war years and into the 1950s when resources were scarce. Tan will go with any colour even black. Lotus weren't the only company to consistently show this style in thier adverts.

Advert November 1943

Style variations were subtle and restricted by the austerity rules. The details of the broguing often hid imperfections in the leather or were there to join small pieces of leather. The height of the vamp varied, high during the war, lower afterwards. The heel height was restricted to two and a half inches despite the illustrations in the adverts suggesting 3 or 4 inches.

Advert January 1945

Shortages began with rationing in 1940, but by 1943 with what was left of the manufacturing industry going all out for D-Day shoes became almost impossible to find. The adverts consistently told their customers that the style illustrated might not be available and if that was the case to choose from those available (and like it).

Cartoon in Punch 1941

The austerity rules were relaxed at the end of 1945 but there were still shortages of materials and labour which were to last up to the early 1950s. However, the shoe companies began to advertise new styles and colours even if they weren't making them yet. But the tan court shoe continued....

Advert 1945

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Rayne Spotting 4: The Passionate Stranger

1956 film starring Margaret Leighton in Norman Hartnell gowns and Rayne shoes. (Ralph Richardson also does well).

An amusing satire on the slushy romantic novel vs. reality with a story within a story plot line. The frame is filmed in black and white, the 'melodrama' in colour.
Good performances from a stalwart cast and excellent production from Muriel and Sydney Box as usual. If you're a fan of vintage clothing there are some famous frocks in this film.

Rare glimpse of Rayne shoes

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Shoe Folklore

Red Shoes, No Knickers

A mid 20th century saying denoting the person in question is only concerned by outward appearances. A similar phrase is All fur coat no knickers or more literally all design no substance.

Red shoes have become cultural icons due to their occurrence in various pieces of literature.

Moira Shearer can't stop dancing in The Red Shoes

Judy Garland follows the yellow brick road in ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz.

Jayne Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe prove irresistable in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Beaded red shoes c1905

Red suede court shoes by Holmes 1950s

Red glitter sandals by Rayne c1975

Guradsman sandals by Charlotte Olympia c2015

Monday, 19 December 2016


Zsa Zsa Gabor (1917-2016)

Andy Warhol, Crazy Golden Slippers 1957 - Zsa Zsa Gabor

From The Historialist

Saturday, 17 December 2016

If You Wait Long Enough....

Finally, 51 years after the most perfect boots in the world appeared in that excellent book, the Ladybird edition of The Elves and The Shoemaker, you can now buy a reasonable approximation.

The Elves and the Shoemaker (1965)

PERFECT BOOTS (especially for going to school in).

Esmerelda Boots by Rayne - pretty good. 9 out of 10

Vanity boots by Hotter - surprisingly funky. 8 out of 10

Monday, 12 December 2016

Slippers for Christmas

Daniel Green slippers were as ubiquitous in the 30s,40s and 50s as LED torches and Ipads today.

December 1930

Pale Blue slipper

December 1939

Ruched Slingback

Mid 40s

Chinese Slipper

Red slippers 1950s

Chrysanthemum mule