This week I bought two of the most sensational pairs of shoes that I have possibly ever owned.
They are both amazing pairs of platform shoes, so I’ll start off with a little background about the platform shoe…
Platform shoes aren’t a fashion trend restricted to the 20th century, with examples existing of chopines (the forerunner of the platform) right back to the renaissance period, originally used as an overshoe or patten. Due to the fact that the “platform” was often made of wood or cork original examples do still survive.
Into the 20thcentury it was the 30s when the platform came back into fashion.
Vogue October 1938 “ It’s no sin to call a shoe clumsy, these days It’s a compliment. If you haven’t already worn a platform or wedge sole, do have a pair of two for autumn with this new thick look”.
Carmen Miranda was also a big influence on the popularity, she wore the shoes due to the fact she was a very diminutive 5ft and apparently she commissioned a pair from Ferragamo in 1936 and this was when the craze for platform really set in!
Ferragamo was an innovator with the variety of materials he used and his often art inspired designs.
Platforms remained popular throughout the 30s and 40s worn for day and evening wear. Especially during the war the style was popular due to the materials that could be used to make platforms (materials that were cheap and in supply like wood and cork). Ferregamo was using cork from wine bottles for his shoes!
The cork wedge was particularly popular in America, supposedly by 1938 86% of all shoes had wedge soles in America.
Now onto my two pairs of shoes which are not only beautiful but also fit me like a dream.
First off this gorgeous red pair which date to 1949, these came with a pair of matching nylons to go with them, I adore these shoes so much,,such a chic colour! I spoke to my Grandmother about these yesterday and she remembers having a pair almost identical but in white in the late forties, if only she had kept them.
I know these date to 1949 because I have the original provenance for them, but a good way of dating shoes is peep toes. As, during the war it was rare to see shoes with peep toes as they were considered “dangerous”. Of course there are exceptions to this rule- but generally this is the case!. Meaning if you have a pair of CC41 peep-toe shoes they will probably be post-war examples.
This pair though are my super special “holy grail” pair and date to 1948. They were worn as the original owners wedding shoes, purchased with her post-war ration coupons (I’m such a sucker for a good story!). They are also by iconic brand Lotus, who regularly advertised in the pages of Vogue (pick up any 40s or 50s copy and you’ll probably see their gorgeous and quite expensive shoes gracing the pages!)
Why though are they a holy grail purchase?
Years ago I saw another pair of these shoes in Hope and Harlequin in Brighton, but they weren’t for sale. My mum and I have spent over four years asking Louise the owner of the shop if she would sell them to no avail. Not only that but this very pair of shoes appear in the dictionary of fashion and fashion designers. So, I cant believe that I now have a pair of the very shoes that I always dreamed would be mine!
Hope you enjoyed my lovely new shoes. They certainly made me happy!