Shoe of the Month-Northampton Shoes

Northampton Shoes

What do you think of as Northampton-made shoes?

Leather?

Traditional?

Craftsmanship?

Plastic jelly shoes?

These women’s plastic jelly shoes are just as important a part of the Northampton shoe industry story as the men’s leather shoes you might automatically think of. They have been made here for over 30 years and are an example of Northampton manufacturers diversifying into new markets while retaining traditional methods and standards.

Originally a family business providing injection moulding services to the boot and shoe industry, in 1986 JuJu Jellies created the original moulded plastic sandals which became known as ‘jelly shoes’. Now a fashion favourite, as well as a summer shoe icon, these shoes are made using the same processes and designs in bright (and glittery) colours. The plastic used to create these shoes is sourced in England and any waste is recycled to be used again.

Jelly Shoes

Jelly Shoes

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Shoe of the Month – Tuscan Craftsmanship

Tuscan Craftsmanship

A very elegant pair of women’s ankle strap sandals with an unusual crossed double strap at the front. The classic pale green leather, oval toes and ankle strap are more reminiscent of the 1920s and 1930s than the 1990s, when they were made.

Bruno Manetti is a family company based in Tuscany and embody the Italian design aesthetic which embraces natural materials and traditional workmanship.

Ankle Strap Sandals

Ankle Strap Sandals

Shoe of the Month-Zig Zags

Zig Zags

With the iconic zig zag knitted textile these are unmistakably Missoni sandals.

Developed in the late 1960s the zig zag design utilised traditional weaving machinery to create this Modernist design. It has been repeatedly used by the Italian fashion house with their distinctive colour palate both for their catwalk collections and when collaborating with other brands.

The shoes themselves are a high fashion interpretation of the espadrille, the Spanish peasant footwear here with blue rope cord around the platform wedge heels. They have ribbon ankle ties to secure them to the wearer’s foot.

Zig Zags

Zig Zags

Shoe of the Month-Safety Boots

Safety Boots

These rather amazing thigh length leather boots were found at an Oxfordshire rubbish tip and donated to the museum in the 1960s. They have very solid soles with iron nails and leather loops at the top to help the wearer pull them on. The leather has dried and stiffened into creases echoing their wearer’s gait.

We know very little about them but they might have been sewer boots from the late nineteenth century. Or some other kind of protective/safety boots. They are a bit of a mystery.

Safety Boots

Safety Boots

Shoe of the Month – Fit for a Duke

Fit for a Duke

Wellington boots have evolved from the original style developed during the Napoleonic Wars and named after the First Duke of Wellington. For much of the Noughties they have been synonymous with Glastonbury and Kate Moss.

The practical wellington has had a close relationship with fashion throughout its history. The close fitting boots were a key part of the ‘heroic’ uniforms of the Napoleonic era as epitomised by the elaborate uniforms of the 10th Hussars. The dress uniform was designed by the Prince Regent, later George IV, and was so impractical that they became known as ‘The Prince’s Dolls’.

Modern wellingtons were first an anti-fashion statement by those with a lifestyle to warrant them that were later adopted by the London fashion set in response to the conditions at Glastonbury. This lead to Hunter wellies in particular becoming part of the festival ‘uniform’ and having an unexpected icon within British fashion with the desirability and cache to match.

Hunter Wellies

Hunter Wellies

For more information about the Duke of Wellington’s wellingtons see this Shoe of the Month from 2015:

https://northamptonmuseums.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/shoe-of-the-month-wellingtons-waterloo/

 

Shoe of the Month-It’s Not Easy Being Green!

It’s Not Easy Being Green!

These limited edition Adidas Originals Kermit the Frog trainers were part of the 2005 relaunch of Adidas’ Adicolor range. The original 1983 Adicolor range were white trainers that were sold with special quick drying pens to allow the wearer to customise their footwear. This individuality and the innovative designs created led to their cult status.

The 2005 range continues the humour and quirkiness of the concept by collaborating with a group of artists and pop culture icons, like Kermit.

Kermit the frog trainers

Kermit the frog trainers

 

 

Shoe of the Month-A Pair of Grubby Old Boots?

A pair of grubby old boots?

Button Boots

Button Boots

These lovely girl’s button boots from 1890 are a little battered. They are stained, faded and have been squashed.

But underneath the scalloped button holes is a hint of their original beauty.

When new the kid leather of these boots would have been a bright blue with contrasting white glass buttons and pink satin lining. The leather has now faded to dirty cream but the elegant shape of the boots with their rounded square toes, low covered Louis heels and shaped top remains.

Happy New Year from everyone at Northampton Museums and all the best for 2018!