Friday, April 12, 2013

Speaking of shoes....

The American Duchess has been producing a growing array of historically inspired shoes for the costuming hordes for a while now. She has already produced the 'Pemberley' for the folks from our preferred time-period, a shoe with a small heel designed after shoes of the early Regency.  She made it in white leather, which is easily paintable... a canvas for your imagination.

The Pemberley
Here is an example of how you can take this simple white shoe, and elevate it to Regency bliss.

Click this image to see the blogpost detailing this project.
Now, the American Duchess has presented the newest Regency model called the 'Highbury'. This is a full Regency flat, and is something to covet.  For one... it is made of dyeable satin.  For two, there are four ribbon loops on each side of the inner shoe for ribbons, which can be laced through in myriad pleasing configurations.

The Highbury
As you can see, these are yet again, a wonderful canvas to play with.  Here is a blog post on a project working with a similar shoe:

Click this image to see the blogpost detailing this project.
Personally, I have always found the portraits of Regency ladies in white with a bright, jewel-toned pop of colour on their dainty feet, ribbons elegantly wound about their ankles to be visions of elegance.

Regency shoes were also intricately patterned and ornamented sometimes.  As seen by these examples, and by many more examples that can be dug up from around the interwebs:

A dye project is easy enough, as demonstrated by Miss Reeser (The American Duchess) in this helpful video.

However, like the project posted before, with the delicate painting, you can do just about anything, including even attempt silk-painting techniques using resist and dye to create an intricate design. I am not sure if this will work on dyeable satin, but it might be worth a try, maybe on some cheap shoes from David's Bridal or something first.

A modern silk-painting.
You can research more on silk painting through Dharma trading, where incidentally, you can find some fine voiles, cottons, silk gauze and dupioni silk for costumes for extremely reasonable prices if you are not afraid to dye fabrics.

The Highbury is on pre-order at present, which means, the model is proposed but not stocked. It must sell at least 100 pairs to be stocked. So I recommend you pre-order a pair as soon as possible so they can be made available to everyone.  They are at a decent discount, and you will also find some elegant accessories and shoe charms and clocked stockings for your costuming needs.