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|Speaking of green shoes
Written by JulieW
(11/26/2006 11:07 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Life and novels…, penned by Robbin
This illlustration of some rather spectacular green shoes is taken from Historical Fashion in Detail published by the Victorian and Albert Museum, written by Avril Hart and Susan North. The shoes are in the V+A's collection.
These green shoes were made around 1797 and are made of green leather, tamboured with silk,and are bound with silk ribbon.
The description of them is as follows:
While neo-classical style dress introduced a flat shoe with less decoration than had been previously worn, heels remained fashionable.
In 1797 a contemporary fashion magazine (The Ladies Monthly Museum,June 1797-JW)noted ;"Small Italian heels are coming in with the rising generation,and simplicity of dress is now the criterion of good taste".
Not until the 1820s would the heel be completely ousted from women's footwear.
Again quoting from Constance Hill's book Jane Austen:Her Homes and Her Friends (1923),we can see that the influence of the east,after the Battle of the Nile seems to have inlfuenced the fashion for the wearing of these green shoes:
The battle of the Nile, fought in the preceding August, had set the fashion in ladies' dress for everything suggestive of Egypt and of the hero of Aboukir. In the fashion-plates of the day we find Mamalouc cloaks and Mamalouc robes of flowing red cloth. Ladies wear toupées, somewhat resembling a fez, which we recognise as the "Mamalouc cap." Their hats are adorned with the "Nelson rose feather," and their dainty feet encased in "green morocco slippers bound with yellow and laced with crocodile-coloured ribbon."
The Battle of the Nile took place on the 1st and 2nd August 1798, so perhaps JA was very up to date with her fashion sense...:-)
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