Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Trio of Victorian Party Boots!

Pondering parties past as we welcome 2015….The Victorian elite knew how to capture the glitter, sparkle and shine of the holidays, from their dresses and accessories, right down to their selection of footwear..

The ultimate in Victorian party boots, these crimson silk satin brocade showoffs were worn to the "opening" soiree at Chicago society and fashion maven, Mrs. Potter Palmer's new home by one of her friends, Mrs. A.F. Ratray Grieg, in 1883. The black kidskin is decorated with cut-out foliate pattern, underlaid with gold-colored kid. The scallop-edge closure has brass buttons. The “baby” French heel finishes the composition. Unfortunately, the maker is unknown. I can only imagine what the evening dress looked like!

This pair of rather astonishing velvet & gold leather button boots are true attention getters.  Note the gold leather details which echo the form of stockings and spats. The heels on theses c. 1880-90s boots is particulary graceful.
Featured in the 2008 exhibition “HEIGHTS OF FASHION: A HISTORY OF THE ELEVATED FOOT” at the Esplanade Museum [Alberta, Canada]. Image via

Though not as robust as the boots pictured above, the use of a brocaded silk satin creates an air of restrained luxury. The maker is not known, but they are likely from France, c.1889. Via the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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