Desperately needing a historical fashion hit before work, I stopped by Sonia Bata's shoe museum to see a few treasures from her archives. Here are the highlights...
Next, slap-soled shoes belonging to Frances Walsingham, lady in waiting to Elizabeth I, and daughter of her spymaster, Francis Walsingham. Though the shoes belong to a Canadian collector, they are considered so important to British history that they have to be returned to England soon.
Ornate kilm silk flats with silk tassels. England, c. 1860.
Black satin boots with a "Louis heel", embroidered with typically fashionable Victorian subjects – botanicals and peacocks. Designed by Meliès, c. 1880-1885.
I love Adelaides. As a devout bootist, I like to imagine that my name is derived from this grandmother of the go-go. Adelaides were brought into fashion to preserve the modesty of ladies whose crinolines were jostled and swayed up to reveal a bit of leg. This beautifully embellished pair, however, was meant to attract attention. France, c. 1855.