When it comes to my knowledge of fashion prior to the Regency era, you might as well ask a fly. I simply don’t go back that far – mostly due to the lack of events to attend here on the West Coast. However, I have very fond memories of my vacations back east to the marvelous Colonial Williamsburg where I ooo’ed and aww’ed at the history, the architecture, the dancing, and yes, the costumes. For all my questions on 18th century colonial costumes, I turn to my good friend and costuming maven Lauren Reeser, who has studied 18th century costuming for the past 2 years. She certainly knows how to make great looking 18th century clothing. And now …. shoes.
Lauren spent months working with a quality shoe manufacturer to design the “Georgian” silk and the “Devonshire” leather colonial shoes for women. Upon my insistence, Lauren made the shoes soles with smooth leather so that 18th century dancers (Baroque and Contedanse) could wear them. [ Dancers: you can thank me anytime 🙂 ] I think they turned out fabulous, don’t you?
Besides the smooth leather soles, the silk version can be dyed to match your dress- a task you can try yourself (it’s not that hard) or one you can have done professionally with your purchase. Because these shoes are dye ready, I think they would be wonderful wedding shoes for any era — 18th century through now. Had they been in stock for my wedding, I would have worn them.
The quality for the price of these shoes is really top notch. Quality shoes really make the difference between just a “costume” and “period dress.” The only others historical footwear company (www.fugawee.com) that sells similar shoes has a somewhat bad reputation for poor quality (or at least uncomfortable lasts). I can’t comment personally since I don’t own them, so take this hearsay with a grain of salt.
If you have the pleasure of attending 18th century colonial themed events, wedding, dances, or theatrical productions I highly recommend you purchase Lauren’s shoes. Give yourself plenty of time to order these since they are made in small batches and are not always in stock. Start shopping today at American Duchess: 18th Century Shoes.