Sunday, 7 May 2017

Rayne Spotting 4: The Passionate Stranger

1956 film starring Margaret Leighton in Norman Hartnell gowns and Rayne shoes. (Ralph Richardson also does well).

An amusing satire on the slushy romantic novel vs. reality with a story within a story plot line. The frame is filmed in black and white, the 'melodrama' in colour.
Good performances from a stalwart cast and excellent production from Muriel and Sydney Box as usual. If you're a fan of vintage clothing there are some famous frocks in this film.

Rare glimpse of Rayne shoes

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Shoe Folklore

Red Shoes, No Knickers

A mid 20th century saying denoting the person in question is only concerned by outward appearances. A similar phrase is All fur coat no knickers or more literally all design no substance.

Red shoes have become cultural icons due to their occurrence in various pieces of literature.

Moira Shearer can't stop dancing in The Red Shoes

Judy Garland follows the yellow brick road in ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz.

Jayne Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe prove irresistable in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Beaded red shoes c1905

Red suede court shoes by Holmes 1950s

Red glitter sandals by Rayne c1975

Guradsman sandals by Charlotte Olympia c2015

Monday, 19 December 2016


Zsa Zsa Gabor (1917-2016)

Andy Warhol, Crazy Golden Slippers 1957 - Zsa Zsa Gabor

From The Historialist

Saturday, 17 December 2016

If You Wait Long Enough....

Finally, 51 years after the most perfect boots in the world appeared in that excellent book, the Ladybird edition of The Elves and The Shoemaker, you can now buy a reasonable approximation.

The Elves and the Shoemaker (1965)

PERFECT BOOTS (especially for going to school in).

Esmerelda Boots by Rayne - pretty good. 9 out of 10

Vanity boots by Hotter - surprisingly funky. 8 out of 10

Monday, 12 December 2016

Slippers for Christmas

Daniel Green slippers were as ubiquitous in the 30s,40s and 50s as LED torches and Ipads today.

December 1930

Pale Blue slipper

December 1939

Ruched Slingback

Mid 40s

Chinese Slipper

Red slippers 1950s

Chrysanthemum mule

Wednesday, 7 December 2016


Gold party shoes, there's nothing quite so indicative of the Christmas party season.

Gold silk with steel beads 1870s

Gold kid and fabric, French c1930

Statement platforms, American c1945

Gold brocade by Roger Vivier for Christian Dior c1960

Alexander Wang rose gold pumps 2015?

Rayne embroidered gold leather 2016

Jimmy Choo Sandal 2013

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Louis Heel

An early 18th century style originating in France and then called the Pompadour. It went through several refinements until it fell out of favour around the time of the French revolution.
It was reintroduced in the 1870s, renamed the louis and remained in fashion until about 1930. There have been several revivals since.
They were made of wood and covered either in fabric or leather or sometimes just painted until the 1920s when celluloid studded with rhinestones made an appearance.

English embroidered leather c1780-90, sturdy and sensible

Silk with a slim 'Italian' heel that supports the arch

Silk wedding shoes c1886, English

Gold kid with a steep arch to shorten the foot, 1880-90

Hellstern Paris 1920s

Delman USA c1935

Manolo Blahnik 1995