Thursday, 26 February 2009

Vintage Wedding Challenge - The Shoes

Ok - remember Cerian of the Peach Wedding Undies? Oh, come on - it was only a few days ago! Anyway, part two of her quest was the perfect pair of shoes. Let's have a reminder of her dilemma:

...I've got my wedding dress - a gorgeous 1930's art deco gown. Ankle length, halter necked and backless, it's peach silk and cotton with black deco detailing on the bust. ...I'd ... like some shoes that would fit the period and are elegant and pretty but have a not-too-high heel as I will be walking on grass for most of the day!

Well, the good news is that thirties-style heels should be chunky, and for the most part they were what would now be termed mid-height; they will be suitable for walking on grass. I've had a look at some vintage shoes (top), but they don't age terribly well, compared to vintage frocks and the like. Also, choice is limited one size at a time, and shoes were available in a comparatively narrow colour palette except for the very wealthy. The pair on the left are circa 1930, and the other around 1940 - not much changes across the decade, and apart from the heel we're looking at some form of strap, and some deco-influenced structuring over the front of the foot.

Both of the shoes above were wedding shoes - everyday shoes in the 1930s were a deal more substantial, and it is this slightly heavy look, echoing tap shoes, which seems to be in fashion at the moment. Of this type, I did find two contenders, which I feel have enough elegance to suit the occasion.

The colour of these shoes is apparently 'coral', but surely they only call it that to make life harder for shopping bloggers - for anyone can see these are peach. It's a striking combination with the black - and the jet button on the front is a gorgeous period-inspired touch, which must echo the black Deco detailing on the dress. They are heavier than one might imagine a July bride to wear, but they recall the right era, and are smart and slender shoes. I also think Cerian would get a lot of wear from them after the wedding. They're £35 from Faith.

These dolly shoes are more 1920s, to be honest, but they wouldn't look out of place, and the very delicate peach will suit Cerian's palest of pale skin. They're brand new - but I found them on ebay, as they're past season. £32.99.

More along the lines of the vintage wedding shoes at the top are these Velvet Bee stack-heel sandal: £20 from £75. They're not peach, and perhaps the gold is a little glitzy, but shape-wise they're pretty good, and the pale gold is flattering to the skin. However - I've found some shoes that excited me so much, that I've already emailed Cerian, for fear that she'll miss out.

Oh my! look at those suede straps - they have a vintage look and are absolutely right for the era and instead of making a horizontal across the ankle, they encase the heel in long sweeping undulations. Very flattering. They are lightweight and open for a summer wedding, but with a wide enough heel to walk on grass. And they have sequins, godammit. (OK - this might be my thing, but come on - shoes with sequins versus shoes without?). But - and this is killing me here, they only have one pair left. And it's Cerian's size (if I remember rightly). And it's an absolute bargain. Cerian can't get online until tomorrow morning, and I'm so stressed about them being sold that I'm not even going to post the link, or the price - in case you track them down and snaffle them up before her! In fact, even my boyfriend has just been encouraging me to buy them for her 'just in case', which should give you a sense of my agitation. But I can't do it. It would be a bit pushy - and she might not think them as perfect as I do (it'll be those sequins - or the silver heel...), and she might feel obliged. Alternatively, the website might be lying, and they might have two pairs, either of those scenarios and I'll have a pair of shoes which are too big for me. Or I might have remembered her shoe size wrong. Hmm. On balance, I shall wait and see what happens. Que sera, sera - as dear old Dozza Day used to sing.

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