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.
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.
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.
For more information about the Duke of Wellington’s wellingtons see this Shoe of the Month from 2015:
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.
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!
These beautiful blue/grey satin court shoes sporting a bow and diamante trim were made under the Christian Dior label for Harrods, London, in about 1955.
Christian Dior is famous for designing the New Look in 1947. Characteristics of this new look were a jacket nipped in at the waist and a wide flowing skirt. A hat, gloves and of course a pair of court shoes with pointed toes and stiletto heels completed the look.
Shoe designer Roger Vivier usually takes the credit for inventing the stiletto heel. As shoe designer to Christian Dior from 1953, Vivier designed bespoke shoes for Dior’s couture collection as well as models for a ready-made series that carried both of their names on the label.
This shoe is an exact replica of those pairs made for and worn by HRM Queen Elizabeth II when she was a subaltern in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) in 1945.
The Queen’s relationship with the Armed Forces began when, as Princess Elizabeth, she joined the ATS in 1945, becoming the first female member of the Royal Family to join the Armed Services as a full-time active member. During her time in the ATS, the Princess learnt to drive and to maintain vehicles.
These, and the actual shoes she wore, were made by Dawn Shoes factory. Herbert Dawson established the factory in the 1930s and it was based in Shelley Street, Northampton. During the war he was commissioned to design and make shoes for Princess Elizabeth and was invited to Buckingham Palace to fit the shoes for her.