Thursday, June 9, 2011

Shoe Gallery - 1820s edition

These examples demonstrate two different styles of shoes that were worn in the 1820s. The first is a pair of wool slippers (c. 1825), decorated with brightly-colored petit point stitches. These heel-less types of shoes were popular among the young and fashionable at the end of the 18th century, and remained in vogue until the beginning of the Victorian period. The style, if not the decoration, of this pair is strikingly modern - not far from the "ballet" shoes worn by young women today. A brightly colored patchwork pair by Emma Hope clearly demonstrates this 21st-century twist on an old idea.

The second is a pair of c. 1820 mules - shoes with raised heels but open backs. Similar shoes were worn in the 1700s as well, but the patterned silk of this pair is more in line with the neoclassical style of the first decades of the 19th century. The padded silk under the wearer's foot must have been wonderfully comfortable - a pair in a different fabric might still be appealing today!

Alexa Price
Strawbery Banke summer curatorial intern

Strawbery Banke shoes photographed on site by Alexa Price
Emma Hope shoe from

1 comment:

  1. Alexa- The selections here are have a very contemporary appeal and tie in nicely with the work of Emma Hope and Elizabeth Ronzio, who are designing shoes for the Thread project.