Saturday, January 28, 2012

Red Shoes!

I've always loved shoes.  Luckily, styles of dance shoes changed throughout the nineteenth century, which gives me plenty of opportunities for shopping!  My most recent quest has been for red ballet slippers, which are sometimes worn in Scotland for country dancing and I always admired while dance shopping when I lived in Edinburgh.
Scottish country dancers--look how cute they are! yay red shoes!
As I've been working on new dresses for the upcoming 1812 Ball in February and Returning Heroes Ball (1860s) in March, I've also been re-assessing my shoes.  I have normal black ballet slippers for practicing and white ones that I usually wear for events...but red ones were definitely fashionable during the regency era, and my new 1860s dress is all about Victorian appropriation of Scottish things (think tartan), so why not add red shoes to the mix?
Colored evening slippers for ladies were quite fashionable during the early 19th century, although white was still standard.
3 examples from the Victoria and Albert Museum, c. 1790s

from the Met Museum, c.1820

polka-dots! c.1800
 For some slightly inexplicable reason I've ended up with my heart set on red dancing shoes.  It's possible I spent too much time reading Hans Christian Anderson as a child (actually, that explains a lot), but also they just look so cute!



 Unfortunately for me, finding red ballet shoes that will actually be useful for dancing has proven rather difficult.  In a fit of thesis procrastination, I caved and ordered a pair from Dancewear Edinburgh (the shop on Rose Street where I bought my shoes last year).  Given then distance they have to travel to reach the USA, I'm not sure they'll be here in time to be altered (I want to add gold trim and red ribbons to tie on) and worn for the ball in a few weeks, but there's always March...

...but given that I've also seen a couple of extant pairs of tartan slippers from the mid-19th century, let's hope I don't find a modern source for those anytime soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment