|Cartoon by James Gillray|
For a long, long time I have been searching for some fabulous 18th century shoes to go with my costumes. Problem is, unless you want to wait to have them custom made (I'm not too patient), you have very little to choose from. In the past I have bought a pairs from Fugawee and Jas. Townsend. Both are very well made and have straps for buckles. The Jas. Townsend shoe is low heeled, black leather, and would be appropriate with a redingote, or a middling class outfit. The Fugawee shoe is interesting. I got the "Connie" in natural leather. It is straight lasted, which means there is no left or right. Very acurate for the time period. It's got a little heel and is made of a rough suede. Fugawee has a lovely pair of white bronze basket weave buckles that really dress up a shoe.
But as nice as these shoes are, they still were not the dainty slipper I was looking for. And I looked everywhere. Then I came across the American Duchess Boutique and I was thrilled! I pre ordered six pairs. I may have gone a little overboard, but I was just so excited :) The shoes come in silk and leather and are dyeable/paintable/whatever you want.
|The Georgiana silk shoe.|
And when you finally get the perfect shoes, well what do you need now? Buckles! I have various different buckles I have accumulated from Jas. Townsend, Fugawee, William Booth Draper and Smiling Fox Forge. But all were metal. Those sparkly ones are even harder to find than the shoes! I even started looking up rhinestone belt buckles. Nothing even close. So that's when I gave in and started looking for antiques. I finally found a pair at Silver Mine Antiques. They are the most fab paste buckles from the 1780's and they are in AMAZING condition! None of the stones are missing and the latchets are sturdy and useable. They also come in this lovely original shagreen case. For a little info on what makes paste different from rhinestone, click here.
I am beyond excited. So now as I wait to receive the shoes in the mail, I'm planning on how I will be decorating them. Below are some of my favorite shoes I would love to recreate. Ooo I can't wait!