Travel

Shoes, Glorious Shoes

For whom do you think the 19th Century shoes below were crafted?

a. an assassin
b. a chesnut crusher
c. a dominatrix
d. a palace lawn aerator

These horror film shoes are on display at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. That’s right: an entire museum filled with shoes. Couture shoes, rock and roll shoes, ancestral shoes, fearsome fad shoes.

Founded by Sonja Bata, the museum owns more than 13,000 pairs of shoes, displaying ~ 1,000 pairs in a five story building designed by Moriyama and Teshima Architects. If you’ve got even the slightest bit of a shoe thing, this is a must-visit.

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Floor to floor installation by Jim Hake

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Coptic mules from Ancient Egypt. 300-500 C.E.

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Upper-class paduka from Jaipur, likely worn to a wedding.
India. 18th Century.

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Narrow red silk boots from Zhejiang, China.
Early 20th Century

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Nalins – Turkish bathhouse sandals
Ottoman Turkish. 19th Century

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Baroque and Rococo
English. 18th Century

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The red velvet shoes of Pope Benedict XV
Pope from 1914-1922

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Fancy 1930’s boots

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Bolivian Carnival Dancing Boots
1950

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The Curious History of Men in Heels

Mid 17th C. English or French for a well-to-do boy

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1970’s

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Elton John. 7.5 inches. 1970’s

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Kinky Boots. 2013. Broadway

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Traditional Arctic Footwear

Siberian Yup’ik crampons

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Beaded reindeer skin boots 
Made by Demyanskaya Ekaterina Geracetovna. 1960s

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Men’s Kamiks
Bade by Baffinland Inuit Ida Karpik. 1987

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Fashion Victims
The Pleasures And Perils of Dress in the 19th Century

The ‘Mauve Measles’

William Henry Perkins, a British chemist, was looking to cure malaria. In the process, he created Perkins purple, the first synthetic dye. ‘Perkins Purple’ became ‘mauve’ and soon it was everywhere.

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Boudoir Slippers. 18th Century

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Said the Dictionary of Victorian Slang:  ‘There are many terrible tints even now to be found among the leaders of fashion – agonies in red, livid horrors in green, ghastly lilacs and monstrous mauves.’

When 1860’s women started donning dyed-to-match gloves, socks and shirts, some wound up in the hospital with chemical burns. By the 1870’s, these ‘Totty all colours’ were considered passé, an abomination. How do we feel about these ‘terrible tints’ in 2017?

 

Written by Elizabeth Newton
www.creatorsvancouver.com

* It’s b. The spiny-tined shoes are Chesnut Crushing Clogs used in 18th Century France for shelling chestnuts.

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Elizabeth Newton

Elizabeth Newton