Friday, October 28, 2011

Marie Antoinette: Shoes On A Budget

Just in time for Halloween... this is cross-posted from my Tumblr. Enjoy!

Loved the shoes in Marie Antoinette?  Dear God, so did I.

I’m a freak for historical costume.  When I think of what I could be wearing were it, say, 1750, 1860, or 1949, I get a little upset.  People tell me “You can just wear costumes all the time…  after all, you do live in San Francisco!”  True, but I’m also a (mostly) sane individual who would like to retain her dignity and circle of friends, thank you very much.  So instead of wearing corsets, hoops and seamed stockings all year round, I reserve those outfits for special occasions.

After all the Marie Antoinette hubbub caused by the eponymous 2006 film, I decided that, sooner or later, I must dress as Marie Antoinette for Halloween.  That time finally came last year when I wasn’t working more than a few hours a week and was jonesing for a project.  While I had no trouble making a corset, petticoat, shift and pocket hoops from scratch, shoes were another issue entirely.  Nowhere (I mean nowhere) had decent Rococo shoes.  I kept coming across travesties like these…

and prohibitively expensive beauties like these (from Peter Fox)…

…but could find nothing that bridged the gap of eh/cheap to OMG/expensive.  I wasn’t asking for much, just a court-heeled mule with a semi-pointed toe.  I could do the rest.  But it just wasn’t happening.  I spent an unreasonable amount of time online looking for shoes I’d only wear once or twice.  What the hell was my problem?  And THEN… I found them.  For less than $25 on Overstock!

They had a close-to-perfect heel, and were already embellished with rhinestones.  My only complaint was the presence of an ankle strap, but that would be a cinch to cut off.  There was also the issue that the satin in the shoes was synthetic and therefore might not take dye as I had hoped.  But no pain, no gain, right?  At worst, the dye would remain on the surface, but run off the shoes if they got wet.  Whatever.  I wasn’t going to Wildwater Kingdom, I was having a Halloween party!  Time to take one for the team!

So, armed to the teeth with a bottle of teal Rit dye, a sponge brush, a glue gun, sharp scissors, $10 of random vintage ribbons and trims from The Ribbonerie and a roll of masking tape, I transformed the above budget bridal shoes into these:

Cool, huh?  And here’s a side view.

Peter Fox’s shoes are definitely more accurate, but accuracy wasn’t necessarily the goal here, and hell, I loved making them!

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