Historical shoes can get you into hysterics! At Sonia Bata's Shoe museum, the evolution of footwear comes alive with some antique shoes right from the renaissance to the vintage classics. Well-preserved silk and velvet chopines from the 1580s, with studs embellishing the base, prove to be a rare showpiece. These platform shoes for women practically ruled Venetian and Spanish wardrobes during the renaissance, becoming increasingly taller over the ages. With a twenty inch heel, chopines were accused of causing an unstable gait, while some comparatively shorter ones were efficiently used for "dance flourishes and galliard variations." A particular "scandalous" engraving from the period portraying a woman with a movable skirt, gives some idea of this elegant footwear.
Next in line are a pair of exquisite slap-soled shoes straight from the wardrobes of Frances Walsingham, lady in waiting of her majesty Queen Elizabeth I. The costliest shoes in the 17th century Europe would probably be the elaborately embroidered Tulips, with a single bulb costing more than what the average man's income in 5 years amounted to.
A century later, printed leather shoes dominated fashionistas' choice. A particular polka-dotted pair hemmed with ribbons of the 1790s era looks as good as new, thanks to the maintenance of the museum! Moving onto the Victorian era, black satin boots with typical "Louis Heels" seems to have been a rage. Neatly embroidered with foliage and peacocks, these boots designed by Melies look absolutely gorgeous. Other exhibits of this era include a pair of straight-soled pink silk shoes designed by famous French cordonnier Melnotte and owned by the first wife of Napolean's son, Count Walewski. Lovely adelaides from 1855 prove to be another attraction. Designed primarily as a precaution against skin-show, adelaides were also meant to draw attention.
So much for shoes that tell stories that's worth a walk through history!
Via: La Femme