Saturday, 23 June 2018

A Century of Shoes: 1921



Advert for the Manfield shop on Regent Street. Shoe shops retained their salon style for most of the interwar period and beyond.
The company, like many, was based in Northampton and had Victorian origins, the brand is still extant.
For an indepth history go here

Monday, 18 June 2018

Ferragamo's Cellophane Shoes

Ferragamo is well known for his innoavtive use of unusual materials or skins.

His use of cellophane came about, like many of his other ideas, due to shortages during the 'autarchy' of the late 30s and 40s.


Shoe 1941

The Ferragamo website tells us that he came up with the idea of using cellophane when he bought his mother a box of chocolates and unwrapped one. Early designs used weaving and crochet in the same way the raffia shoes were made, indeed the same poeple made them.


Sandals 1950-55

Later the cellophane was used in conjunction with a linen or cotton string and merely glued down. The designs continued to be successful until the 60s when more new materials became fashionable.


Sandals 1955-58

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

A Century of Shoes: 1920

A floral fabric shoe by Charles Strohbeck of Brooklyn. With the sharply pointed toe of the early 20s.


At the Met Museum

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Fine Fabrics

Rayne were reknowned for their use of high quality leathers, fabrics and innovative new materials. This spanned their whole range of day shoes, evening sandals, boudoir slippers and handbags.

1940s mule in silk and metallic brocade. Medieval knights and princesses reflect a flirtation with tudor styles at the end of the 1940s




Cut velvet (devoree) and satin heels with a floral design bring plush Victorian luxury to these pumps from 1957




Lurex was a synthetic replacement for metal threads invented in the early 50s. Unlike gold and silver it was cheap. Unlike brass and aluminium it didn't tarnish.

Shoes and matching bag from 1959.



Linen, cotton, velvet and silk were also used extensively. Zibeline was used extensively for evening or wedding shoes that could be dyed to match a dress.

Cotton chintz pumps c1958
Linen sandals c1960
Velvet pumps c1960
Silk pumps c1958

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Shoe Icons: Ferragamo Vara Courts

The Vara was designed in 1978 by Ferragamo's daughter Fiamma. It is a plain low heeled court with a grosgrain and metal bow on the toe. Since then it hs become the world's best selling shoe, there are hundreds of variations and the iconic bow has been applied to other styles. There is a Vara for everyone. (Or Varina if you like them really really flat).




From the original plain colours with self coloured bow the range has expanded to patent, suede and satin, leather bows, plastic bows and sequins. The toe and heel shapes have followed fashion and the bow has been applied to high heels and sandals.
When it comes to exploiting your signature style, Ferragamo have nailed it.






Monday, 14 May 2018

A Century of Shoes: 1919

Floral Brocade in 18th century style with a high louis heel by J Costa of Paris c1919.



Monday, 30 April 2018

Stepping Out: New Look Shoes 1948

From the Ideal Home Year Book published at the end of 1948.






Holmes Shoes 1948

First published 8 March 2012 on Vintage Chic