In a previous post, we touched upon boots and how they were pretty ubiquitous as footwear during the 1880s and late 19th Century in general. While researching something else, I came across a couple of examples of formal shoes residing in the permanent collection of the FIDM Museum. First up are a pair of evening shoes from circa 1870:
In terms of style, the heels on these shoes are fairly low compared to some specimens out there (like today, heel height was often a matter of personal preference). The stockings that these shoes are displayed with are just as interesting with their elaborate design that serves to extend the visual line of the shoes up the leg- very scandalous… 🙂 Finally, the silk magenta fabric and bows really make these shoes a stand-out.
Next, there are this pair of evening shoes from the 1890s:
Constructed of a dark blue suede leather decorated with gold embroidery, these are reminiscent of 17th and 18th Century styles a la Versailles- can you say “Sun King”? 🙂 The accompanying stockings compliment the shoes with their lighter shade of blue and also decorated in the front with gold metallic embroidery which serves to extend the lines of the shoes up the front of the legs.
The above two pairs of shoes are elegant and their condition is simply amazing- they look as fresh as the day they were made. We have plans in the near future to hopefully delve deeper into the world of Victorian footwear- too often it’s treated as an afterthought.