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”.


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