Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Roger Vivier and the Coronation Shoes

Roger Vivier, is there anything this man didn't do in relation to shoes?

Yes actually, he didn't make the shoes for Her Majesty the Queen's coronation.
He did draw a design for a fantasy pair with ruby encrusted heels which has received wide publicity. Even the official Roger Vivier website says he made them and have made a 'reproduction' pair.
But they are too gaudy for Her Majesty notwithstanding the fact that they couldn't be seen under the floor length gown and are too high for comfortable walking while wearing a heavily embroidered gown, a long train and eventually the Imperial State Crown.
Another veto is that Vivier was French and everything else worn and made for the Queen was almost pointedly English, even the silk for the gown was 'made in England' at Lullington Castle.
If there were special shoes it is most likely that Norman Hartnell designed them and Rayne made them but no one seems to know what has happened to them and no photos exist. It is even possible there was no special pair made.

NOT the Queen's coronation shoes.

In 2012 to celebrate Her Majesty's Jubilee Bally recreated the shoes she wore for both her wedding and the coronation which were then displayed in various Bally shoe shops in Australia. Bally Exhibition

Why exactly Bally, a Swiss Company, know what they looked like when no one else does is a mystery but it goes hand in hand with the fact that they reproduced two pairs of shoes made by Rayne and then displayed them in Australia. Odd but very English somehow.
Bally's conception of the sandals in gold kid with a small heel and platform are far more in keeping with the Queen's style and the necessities of the day.

POSSIBLY the Queen's coronation shoes.

The story of Roger Vivier and the Coronation shoes has found it's way into several books about vintage shoes and has been repeated on many blogs but as Abraham Lincoln said: “Don't believe everything you read on the internet just because there's a picture with a quote next to it”.


Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Shoe Icons: Chanel Two Tone Slingback

The design was launched in 1957 in cream and black and has been in production more or less ever since being adapted to current trends and applied to other styles.
While Chanel was not the first to use the idea of a dark toe cap on a pale shoe she may well have been the first to apply it to a slingback.
Two tone designs were popular throughout the Edwardian period and during the 20s and 30s on boots, closed shoes and fashion styles.

Rene Mancini for Chanel c1963

Modernised for the 1980s

With CC logo from recent years

Advert 1983

Runway 1998

Runway 2015

Ballerinas with logo

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Stepping out at the Coronation 1953

March 28th 1953 and Britain is gearing up for the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

A double page advert in Picture Post March 1953

K shoes advert 1953

First publishe on Vintage Chic 28 March 2013

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Dolcis Shoes

Began life on a barrow in Woolwich market in the 1860s whose success led the owner John Upson to open a shop in the town called The Great Boot Provider.
It was in the 1920s that Dolcis shoe shops began to appear on the British High Street and became a popular middle class fashion brand. As was the way in the 50s and 60s it was bought by a conglomerate called the British Shoe Corporation but continued to trade under it's own name until the early 2000s when like a lot of other older shoe companies it folded due to international competition. It has been relaunched in 2012.

The company advertised a lot in ladies magazines from the late 20s through to the early 60s and as their advertising said “There is a Dolcis Shoe Store in every large town”, their popularity continued into the post war era and were synonymous with the latest fashions until the 90s. Dolcis Debutantes were a popular line in the 40s and 50s as were the imported De Liso Debs designed in America by Palter De Liso.

Dolcis Shoe Shop 1928

Dolcis in Bexleyheath 1936

The new Dolcis Logo 1952

Dolcis in the 21st Century, this logo was designd in the early 80s

Dolcis Shoe advert 1937

Dolcis Shoe advert 1943

Dolcis Shoe advert 1951

De Liso Deb Sandal Novemer 1952. 84 shillings (expensive!)

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Shoe Folklore

To be square: old fashioned or out of date.

Derived from “square toes” in the late 18th century, a derogative term denoting the person (usually a man) still wore the styles and attitudes of the early part of the century.

Louis XV of France c1730 by Hyacinthe Rigaud (detail).

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Complementary Shoes and Bags January 1950

They need not match to complement each other
From Shopping News January 1950.

First posted on Vintage Chic 13-July-2010

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Shoe Icons: Patrick Cox Wannabe Loafer

Patrick Cox was born in Canada and studied at Cordwainer's College London in the mid 80s.
His first Wannabe loafer was designed in 1994 for the autumn collection, they were an instant success with both sexes because they were stylish and comfortable.
(I had a pair of mules in orange suede which I wore to death).

Wannabe loafers with decorative zip 1998 (picture V&A).

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Sensible Shoes: Wartime Footwear 1942-45

Wartime rationing and the introduction of the utility scheme greatly restricted the styles available. Under the austerity rules all shoes had to completely cover the foot.

March 1942

March 1942

So no peeptoes or slingbacks. Heel height was also restricted, though you might not think so when looking at the adverts, a classic case of idealism - if the models can have 7ft legs then the shoes can have 4 inch heels.

May 1943

April 1943

Colour and textured leather finishes hid imperfections in the hides. Rubber soles and elastic gussets were banned, Zips became popular for a short time as they were easier to close in the blitz.

February 1944

February 1944

Low wedges were very popular as they supported the arches and wooden soled shoes made an appearance in 1943 but did not enjoy extensive popularity as the hinged soles let in the rain.

February 1945

July 1945

The spring of 1944 was a particularly bad time to find shoes, with most production aimed at D-Day civilians had to spend long hours in queues and there were stories of having to obtain tickets just to join the queues.

First published on Vintage Chic 21-October-2009

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Delman Platform Evening Clogs 1938

Delman introduced the platform evening clogs shown above in 1938 they were intednded for the small woman to wear at the theatre or opera or at a dinner party.

Herman Delman opened his first shop in Hollywood in 1919 after working for his father in Portland Oregon who had very conservative taste. The Hollywood shop was closely followed by another in New York.
He began to design shoes and hired other designers to create a new line that was young and fashionable. His influence on English shoe design and sizes and fittings in the 1930s was considerable. Delman signed Roger Vivier under an exclusive contract in 1938 but the war got in the way, they worked together in 1941 and on and off again for several years. Delman also had strong associations with Rayne in the 1950s and 60s. The company is still very successful today.

First published on Vintage Chic 25-July-2009