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11-06-2007
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I'm loving this History of Style Forum ... because I never noticed this thread before.

Toronto has one of the foremost museums about shoes, The Bata Shoe Museum .... here's a few gems from them and their sister site, All About Shoes:




Centuries ago, in the rice patties of Japan, pontoon-like wood frame sandals were innovated to facilitate the planting and harvesting rice. The ingenuity of these and other Japanese forms of footwear are testaments to the legacy of functional design in Japan.

Source: http://www.allaboutshoes.ca/en/index.php





Throughout history, people all over the world have sought to elevate themselves using footwear. In Europe, chopines from the 16th and 17th centuries stand out as the most extravagant examples of early elevating shoes.

Thought to have been inspired by exotic footwear from distant lands, these impractical platforms were first embraced by the courtesans of Venice. Before long, fashionable women of wealth throughout Europe were seen struggling to walk in chopines while supported by servants or chivalrous men.






The status gained by wearing chopines was matched only by the loss of mobility. The invention of the high heel, sometime at the end of the 16th century, provided a more workable solution.

By the late 1590s, both men and women of wealth throughout Europe were quickly adopting this new style of shoe. Costly and impractical for hard labour, the new heels were consigned to upper-class use only.

For women, the style was combined with an increased interest in making the foot appear small and dainty. For men, the high heel had the added benefit of enabling the foot to be secured in the stirrup while horseback riding.



Source:http://www.allaboutshoes.ca/en/index.php


The Charm of Rococo:
Femininity and Footwear in the 18th CenturyFeaturing some of the Museum's most magnificent and lavish footwear, The Charm of Rococo transports visitors into a world of opulence in the age of Louis the XV. Emanating from the French court, the Rococo aesthetic infused a sensuous charm and delicate grace into fashion in the 18th century; it also defined femininity in new ways. Upper-class women's footwear reflected this trend through the use of exquisite silks, elegant heels and curvilinear rhinestone buckles that framed the foot with eye-catching sparkle. The connections between femininity and footwear established in the 18th century continue to inform the cultural meanings of women's footwear today. The quality of artifacts in this exhibition showcase the exquisite craftsmanship and eclectic imagination of the era of Rococo.



Source: http://www.batashoemuseum.ca/locateindex.html

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Last edited by BetteT; 11-06-2007 at 10:36 PM.
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11-06-2007
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BetteT
Quote:
Centuries ago, in the rice patties of Japan, pontoon-like wood frame sandals were innovated to facilitate the planting and harvesting rice. The ingenuity of these and other Japanese forms of footwear are testaments to the legacy of functional design in Japan.
That's actually quite interesting - they still look rather uncomfortable to do any heavy work in, though. Thanks for posting.

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12-06-2007
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I always found it interesting that men were able to wear high heels in the past as a "normal" part of their wardrobe. I could never see it making a comeback. But, it does look rather nice.

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14-06-2007
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^men also used to wear skirts and dresses :p and lace and ruffles and makeup and...

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14-06-2007
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hahaha. yeah. those too. but i figured since we were only talking about shoes. hahaha. it's kind of funny though. how they've worn those things in the past and nowadays you'd be automatically labeled as homosexual or weird if you were to use any of the above. it's as if were becoming more openminded in a narrow minded kind of way? hah.

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07-01-2008
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Quote:
English Evening Shoes c. 1900
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File Type: jpg Gal5_10e.jpg (27.0 KB, 1 views)

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07-01-2008
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Quote:
Lady's White Leather Pumps, Late 19th C.
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File Type: jpg 328c.jpg (18.5 KB, 1 views)

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And I am nothing of a builder, but here I dreamt I was an architect
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07-01-2008
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Black Evening Shoes, Late 19th C.
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19-01-2008
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c. 1730-1740, Linen canvas, embroidered with wool, England.

This pair of women's shoes have linen canvas uppers. They are embroidered with flowers in coloured wools in cross stitch and tent stitch. This was a period when fashionable shoes often echoed the pattern of the dress with which they were worn. The shoes have pointed toes and a short, waisted heel that is made of wood and covered with leather. The latchets (straps that fastened across the instep) were originally fastened with buckles. Buckles were separate items and owners often transferred them from one pair of shoes to another. This is why so many pairs of shoes have survived without buckles, as in this case.

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19-01-2008
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c. 1845-1865, Canvas, with elastic side gussets, and embroidery in wool, artist unknown.

Half-boots (ankle boots) were popular for men from the 1830s right up to the Depression in the 1930s. Most were made of leather, though softer materials were popular for informal wear.

By the 1850s most boots were mass produced. Some, however, were still partly made at home. Women often embroidered the uppers of boots and slippers for their families as well as for themselves. Patterns for these were readily available, but the results were sometimes gaudy as some of the colours favoured for the embroidery were produced by bright chemical dyes.

The elastic-sided boot was patented in 1837 by J. Sparkes Hall of 308 Regent Street, London, as a result of experiments made with India rubber cloth. The elasticated side gussets eliminated the need for laces and button fastenings. Instead, the boots could simply be pulled on with the help of the fabric loop positioned at the back of the ankle.

By 1850 techniques for making the elastic gussets had much improved, though the elastic tended to perish after a number of years. It was not until the early 20th century that techniques for using elastic in clothing, underwear and footwear were perfected.

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19-01-2008
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thank you for those, somethingelse
interesting seeing the use of needlework, handcraft on a shoe

also the technological innovation in elastic, india rubber cloth
so the appearances of laces gradually disappear

it looks like most of the soles in the shoes posted on this page are made of something really hard, like wood...

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19-01-2008
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c. 1750-1790 "Pattens". Leather, iron and silk.

These protective overshoes lifted up the wearer and her delicate fabric covered shoes from the mud and mire of outdoor streets and pavements. Eighteenth century women's shoes were, on the whole, not robust, but mounted on curved "Louis" heels in thin leather with uppers covered in silk damasks and brocades, or else woollens known as "stuffs". They were intended for indoor use, with pattens or clogs providing limited outdoor protection. Of course, women of fashion could also have used Sedan Chairs in towns such as London or York to be conveyed from house to house without having to step on the ground.

These pattens from the later eighteenth century have the typical iron ring for stepping onto cobbles or stones on city streets, and they also have stout leather straps to tie over the shoes.



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19-01-2008
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c. 1710-1730 "Pattens". Wool, leather, ribbon. Pattens made from green brocade lined cream wool. Straps from join of heek and sole across fron with single tie of cream ribbon. Leaf shaped soles and square heels with high sloped platform inbetween. Sides of heels overed in stitched red leather.

Venturing outdoors in the eighteenth century could be a dirty and hazardous enterprise. Well-off women visiting friends or shopping in town needed protection for their footwear against the filth of the street and the gutter, and in the event of rain or snow. Pattens were the usual solution, comprising overshoes of leather mounted onto an iron ring which raised the wearer a few inches off the ground, and these were also worn by working women. They were not always easy to walk in, as Pepys noted in his diary in 1660: "Called on my wife and took her to Mrs Pierce's, she in the way being exceedingly troubled with a pair of new pattens, and I vexed to go so slow". The coloured print below shows a lady at a ball taking off her protective pattens as she arrives (see detail).

As an alternative to pattens, clogs could be worn. These were small wooden wedges to fit under the arch of the shoe with matching straps and flat soles to prevent the heels digging into soft ground. They were the forerunner of various more modern types of footwear protection, including Dutch-style wooden clogs as worn by millworkers, or see-through rubber galoshes worn by city women in the 1950s and 1960s.

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19-01-2008
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Wow. This could easily be ballet flats today.

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c. 1800-1810. Leather, linen, silk. England. Pink kid slippers over white kid and linen, printed in black ovals and circles, bound in pink kid. Pointed toes; front slightly open with hole each side and tie of cream silk ribbon over small square tongue; thin wedge heel of plain leather; and thin leather soles.

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19-01-2008
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These, too!

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c. 1800-1810. White kid printed with pale green check. Green ribbon rushing and bow. Low heels.

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