Thursday, August 24, 2017

Historicism in the Shoes of E.J. Costa & Sons, Paris

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has several pairs of superb E.J. Costa and Sons shoes in its rich collections. [1] Dating from the 1910s-1920s, each pair combines some of the best features of this snazzy, creative era of shoe design while reinterpreting the Georgian style.

The shoemakers were located in Paris, and as noted by Elizabeth Otis Williams in her 1907 “Sojourning Shopping and Studying in Paris: A Handbook Particularly for Women,” Costa and Sons were patronized by royalty 'and priced accordingly' with ‘good shoes made to order.’ They were in excellent company-- Williams only mentions Hellstern at the place Vendome, and Perchellet as quality shoemakers at that time.

This pair of c. 1918 silk brocade women’s pumps (above) features a pleasing pattern, high elegant Louis heel and pointed toe, styling them a delightful pair of Georgian Revival shoes.

Also from the late 1910s, these arresting yellow-gold, silk satin pumps would have captured looks on the street, theater or dance floor.

And, a third pair of Costa & Sons shoes – T-strap sandals from the 1920s. The uppers are of silk brocade. 

All three pairs make use of luxurious materials, brocaded silk, silk and silk satin, as well asa revived French of Louis heel, further reinforcing the inspiration of history in the design and style of footwear of the era.

1. LACMA collections:

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