17th century shoes


I finished my shoe bows last night. My short doublet and petticoat breeches outfit is all finished except for the flower crown. I still need to go to the craft store to pick up the flowers. I can’t decide if these shoe bows look good or not. One moment I love them, but the next they look like a hot mess of shiny lace. I suppose its the angle/lighting. I ended up with enough spare ribbon in case I change my mind and want to remake them.

When men wore heels. A pair of men’s high-heeled shoes from the late 17th century (1690-1700). Silk & leather. The red heel indicates the socio-political privilege and status of the wearer. In the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

The French Court championed excessively ornamented clothing and accessories, perhaps as a manifestation of the romantically exuberant decorative arts, or as a reflection of the gross superficiality of social custom. In the same fashion that the formal women’s robe à la francaise was designed to showcase the luxurious embroideries and silk damask fabrics of the century, so too did the impossibly tight breeches, skirted waistcoats, and shapely shoes of menswear provide an adequate canvas for the period’s woven artistry. Men’s adornment was every bit imbued with the elegance, tactile variance, and ostentation that marked women’s clothing of the era. The fashionable eighteenth–century man was expected to convey a certain grace, and was required to enjoy the fine arts, music, and dancing. The romantic curviture of these shoes encourages the voyeuristic eye, each arc paralleled by the sensuality of the male arch and calf

Date: ca. 1600
Culture: Italian
Medium: leather, silk, wood

The high platform shoes known as chopines came into fashion in Venice in the sixteenth century. Awkward yet practical, they served to keep the wearer’s precariously perched feet from getting wet or soiled in the city’s perpetually damp byways and also to signal her elevated social status. It was once thought that very high chopines, as much as twenty inches, were worn by courtesans to establish a highly visible public profile. Like expensive jewels and silk gowns, chopines were favored both by patrician women and the successful courtesans who contrived to emulate their appearance by donning expensive finery. Such fancy footwear does not unequivocally signal that its owner was a courtesan, but the chopines-shod woman in Pietro Bertelli’s erotic flap print (55.503.30) undoubtedly represents that niche of society.