Title: Decorative Displays of Embroidery - 1720
Collection: 300 years of Shoes
Garment: The lost left shoe of a Georgian woman
Materials: cartridge paper, quilling paper strips, embroidery thread, tissue paper, card, aqua bronze powder, lacquer
This shoe is inspired by the long, elegant appearance of shoes in the 1720s; a shape that allowed space for ornate decoration in silver lace, beadwork or embroidery. Also by the many ways that the Indian Blue Peacock has been portrayed in art and fashion.
The heel of this shoe is inspired by the ‘Louis’ heel worn by England’s elite from the 1660’s and by the splendor of the peacock even whilst it is sweeping the ground with its closed tail.
"Shoes in the early years of the eighteenth century, for both men and women, were designed to complement the luxurious fashions of the period, adding a final flourish and touch of opulence to an outfit…High heels were common for both sexes, as was the use of sumptuous fabrics. Shoes typically included a high rising vamp (upper front part of the shoe)…giving it a long elegant appearance, as well as providing a space for decorative displays of silver lace, beadwork or embroidery. The use of such exquisite and expensive materials made the shoes of the wealthiest more than just functional items, instead they became aesthetic objects of desire and outward symbols of the wearer’s refined tastes and high social status…the squared toe characteristic of the late seventeenth century evolved into a point toe by 1710, the…‘Louis’ heel, inspired by the court of Louis XIV of France and worn by England’s elite from the 1660s, was a trend which endured until the mid-1770s.” - fairfaxhouse.co.uk
Decorative Displays of Embroidery is beautifully presented in an acrylic display case H 23cms, W 21cms, D 39cms. The photograph of peacock feathers that it stands upon is by Ray Sullivan