300 Years of Shoes, the collection - research

As I became quite enthralled to the making of shoes I began a visual timeline, at first just for myself, as a visual aid, for reference. Please note that though this post is dated 2018 it is ever changing and being added to or updated. I have found that posting some of the images I source allows both myself and others to scan through them easily. So I am continuing to add images of historical shoes I find interesting in order to better chart the changes of fashion of shoes across this time period. As in all my posts I'm including a source reference or copyright recognition wherever I have it.

The result of this research is that I am making individual shoes (from paper and thread) for The 300 Years of Shoes collection and this will likewise remain an ongoing project. I have decided that in most instances I will only make one shoe from what might otherwise be a pair. When that is the case it will be the left shoe, that is, a lost left shoe. This idea is meant as a pun, applying both of it's meanings to the word 'left' and imagining (aka Cinderella) that the single shoe you can see in each case is the one that has been left behind, for those of us who come later to find, by its imaginary owner, who once walked through a particular period in history.

It's interesting to note that in Disney's "...animated film, Cinderella loses her left slipper, while in the live-action film, she loses her right slipper..." - https://disney.fandom.com/wiki/Glass_Slipper

From what I can tell in the original Grimm's fairytale which shoe it is that she loses is not stated.

Five of the first pieces to be added to this collection were due to be first exhibited alongside The Regency Wardrobe in May 2020. Those 5 are: 1720 - The Green Peafowl; 1795 - The Hummingbird; 1830 - A Bird of Paradise; 1890 - The Dove; 2020 - The Kingfisher. Each has a blog post and/or web-page devoted to it so please have a look.

There are also many yet to come, some of which I have half formed in my mind even as I write this so please check stephaniesmart.net regularly, you never know when another will fall off a foot and find its way there.

In the mean time, please scan the images below for a very potted history of 300 years of shoes:

Late 17th-early 18th c - Museum of Applied Art and Science


I love this period and am fascinated by the fact that by the bginning of the next century heels would be mostly lost

1760s - Bata shoe museum

1770-1790 - Manchester Museum

1780-1800 Manchester Museum

1795-1805 - Manchester Museum

1795-1805 - https://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com

1795-1805 - Lacma Museum

1790-1805 - Brooklyn Museum