View an alternate. Jewelry History The Love Story Behind Mae West’s Jewels Goodness had everything to do with it. West's costumes in the play were in the style of the 1890s; form-fitting floor length dresses with flaring skirts, worn over corsets which accentuated her hourglass figure. If the file has been modified from its original state, some details may not fully reflect the modified file. Detail of sandal slipper shows wearer’s feet extended over sole. FIDM has the largest Dietrich collection in the United States, and among the garments the museum has 19 pairs of her bespoke shoes, including a pair of patent leather tuxedo pumps — then taboo for a women to wear at the time — and bold red heels. They were all custom, made here in L.A.”, Jones added that the weight of the footwear is quite heavy and is the reason for her famous sashay. “You can see she was walking on part of the sides of her shoes,” he explained of the worn sides. Two interviews of Mae West from her trip to England in 1947. Posted by: After many years as a vaudevillian and stage performer, in 1928 West wrote and acted the starring role in Diamond Lil, a play about 1890s New York. At 5 feet tall, the curvy bombshell wore customized Pepenie heels to boost her to towering statuesque heights, creating a va-va-voom silhouette. © 2020 Fairchild Publishing, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media, LLC.FN and Footwear News are registered trademarks of Fairchild Publishing, LLC. The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Together, the heel and platform measure 9.5 inches. In 1959, Roger Vivier — who designed shoes for Christian Dior before establishing his own label — crafted what has become the modern high heel. We have yet to pinpoint exactly when West wore these shoes, but they were perhaps worn in Las Vegas, where West performed throughout the 1950s. Original file (3,602 × 4,792 pixels, file size: 10.08 MB, MIME type: image/jpeg). Mae West's footprints1950-59Gift of Kevin Thomas in Memory of Dolly Dempsey2007.919.19AB. The hemline of the wearer’s dress must be designed at such a length that it covers the upper portion of the shoe, lest the illusion be discovered. They are starting to look at illustrations, painting and surviving shoes but re-creating them in a modern silhouette.”. There could be two or three other pair in the world and that’s it.”. Curator Kevin Jones opened up FIDM’s vaults ahead of the presentations and gave Footwear News a preview of some of the men’s shoes that will be displayed, as well as a look at the museum’s most prized shoes worn by Hollywood stars. | Found textiles ». Illegal to produce nowadays, Jones said the only other pair of Vivier’s Kingfisher feather heels belongs to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Miriam Streeter, formerly Zisovic | This is fascinating information, and so relevant to Los Angeles and Hollywood history. https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/PDMCreative Commons Public Domain Mark 1.0falsefalse, http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.enCC0Creative Commons Zero, Public Domain Dedicationfalsefalse. Together, the heel and platform measure 9 1/2 inches!! Email address will not be displayed with the comment.). Another fan of the tuxedo shoe was Fred Astaire, whose 1930s custom-made evening pumps, correspondent shoes and brown day tap shoes are a part of FIDM’s collections. Detail of Stetson shoes shows hand-stitched, cross-stitched leather. The following pages on the English Wikipedia use this file (pages on other projects are not listed): (3,602 × 4,792 pixels, file size: 10.08 MB, MIME type: Commons is a freely licensed media file repository. Unfortunately I have no actual proof of this but I know this is true. All rights reserved. “These are called ‘straights’ because you could flip them around the feet. These made-to-order "performance shoes," worn in the mid-1950s during her Las Vegas years, measure a good nine-and-a-half inches high. File:Platform shoes worn by Mae West, 1950s AD, wood, metallic leather - Textile Museum, George Washington University - DSC09965.JPG From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to … Actress Mae West shimmied her way into Hollywood during the 1930s, oozing a come-hither sense of humor and risqué penchant for flirting with provocation. These became controversial because of that.”. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux. The donation even included the footprints below, used in creating Mae West's striking platform shoes. “The skirts had raised up a bit,” Jones explained, “So you could’ve seen the decoration if she was walking along. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. A pair of hand-embroidered French couture shoes highlights the resurgence of heels in the late 1870s — favoring the style from a century earlier. As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. During this time my father owned a shoe repair shop down the street from Canter’s Deli. He used to draw the feet on paper bags and write measurements on the paper next to certain areas of the foot. Mae West was the genuine article--even if not all her diamonds were real. FIDM has a pair of pumps covered in Kingfisher feathers, a tropical bird species that is nearly extinct. June 06, 2018 at 05:16 PM. Realizing that this style of dress flattered her natural body-type, West adopted a similar style of dress for both public and private appearances throughout the rest of her life. “It’s hard to tell on-screen one brown pair from the other,” Jones said of the shoes, which he believes were used in one of Astaire’s films. “We would stamp this today to look like leather woven into leather. She only ever wore this kind of shoes when she was seen. Platform shoes worn by Mae West, 1950s AD, wood, metallic leather - Textile Museum, George Washington University - DSC09965.JPG 3,602 × 4,792; 10.08 MB The Season in Full Swing! A solution was reached whereby a torso based on West's measurements was sent to Schiaparelli's Paris workshop. Both open on Aug. 2. [Gift of Kevin Thomas in Memory of Dolly Dempsey.] The style was a hit, but not without its critics. Her hourglass shape was immortalized in 1937 when the couturier Elsa Schiaparelli used West's silhouette as the basis for her Shocking perfume bottle. Note that a few countries have copyright terms longer than 70 years: Mexico has 100 years, Jamaica has 95 years, Colombia has 80 years, and Guatemala and Samoa have 75 years. “Her foot was not this tiny.”, From the 1830s, the museum has a pair of classic ballerina fashion shoes with a square toe cap, featuring an exterior made of straw and horsehair that was boiled to release color, and an interior lined with crimson silk. Louis-style 1870s leather French couture shoe with wooden heel and embroidery. “This is known as the shock heel — which means it looks like it could collapse at any minute,” he said of the curved design. To achieve the effect, she donned what FIDM refers to as the “Double Deckers.”. Mae West’s 9.5-inch customized shoes feature a top-set platform designed to be hidden by a skirt hemline. Copyright may extend on works created by French who died for France in World War II (more information), Russians who served in the Eastern Front of World War II (known as the Great Patriotic War in Russia) and posthumously rehabilitated victims of Soviet repressions (more information). Everything was made for somebody.”, The pink and blue dyed leather shoes feature open slits at the toe and on the sides — a highly unusual style at the time because of the novelty it created, Jones added. This file has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights. He also worked for Western Costume. The shoes are decorated with bows at the back of the heel and front, a response to new fashion statements at the time.
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