American Duchess’ New Year’s Resolution: 18th c. SHOES
December 31, 2010
I’m going to skip through all the fluffy “as 2010 draws to a close” stuff and just cut to the chase. I have several costuming-related resolutions, but one major big honkin’ elephant of a Resolution (with a capital R), and that’s SHOES.
18th century shoes to be exact. I’ve been stepping around this now for a couple months or so – asked you all the answer some questions about shoes, posted many fine images of beautiful shoes, but here’s the bottom line:
In 2011, American Duchess will be introducing the first style in a line of period-accurate shoes, focusing on styles of the 18th century. These will be *real* shoes, not costume facsimiles, so that means good design, craftsmanship, and comfort.
The drawing provided to the manufacturer, based on 1770s styles, primarily from The Met
The first style of shoe is representative of European heels c. 1750 to 1780. They will be made of dye-able satin (like wedding/prom shoes) that can be custom dyed to any color you prefer – this means you can match them exactly to your pink Robe a la Francaise, and have a second pair to go with your teal Robe a l’Anglaise.
The soles will be smooth leather (good for dancing). The shoes close by latchets across the tongue, which can fasten with buckles, or be looped back for ribbons and bows. With a 2″ heel, they won’t kill your feet after all-day fairs, and will still look cute with your 18th century ball gown.
This image from The Met was sent with the drawing as a reference for how the shoes should look, in shape, heel, and construction.
Another example from The Met, from the 1760s
Another beautiful, similar style from The Met. All of these examples form the basis for the American Duchess design going into prototyping next week.
I cannot tell you how excited I am about these, and I am absolutely determined to make them happen! They will be beautiful, and also affordable, customizable, and period accurate. I have solidified plans with my manufacturer today and we will be starting the prototyping process very soon, which means I’ll have “in-progress” photos to show you as we go along.