Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 28 August 2015

Fascinating Footwear Lecture

Welcome back shoe folk of the world. With Madame Shoe swanning about on Jersey (that's the original Jersey, not some odd place in the New World) practising for the Great River Race in a couple of weeks, I'm busy at the work bench and so we thought we'd share some information about an interesting three-day course at the Victoria and Albert Museum. 

Image: Oded Ezer

Fascinating Footwear: Short History of Shoes is lead by our very own Fiona Campbell. When she isn't teaching Pattern Making for Bespoke Shoes to Carreducker students, Fiona lectures on all things shoe related at the London College of Fashion and is also a visiting lecturer at the Victoria and Albert Museum....a prestigious position which recognises her expertise in the world of shoemaking. 

So if you want to find out more about the history of shoes then this lecture may be just up your street and you could tie it in with a visit to Shoes: Pleasure and Pain

Over three days:
30 September 14.30-17.00 
1 October, 10.30-13.00 
2 October, 14.30-17.00 

Image: V&A
... Fiona explores the rich and fascinating history of shoes, from the introduction of the humble sandal in ancient times to the ever higher heels and flamboyant styles of the present day. The history of shoes has included a huge variety of different designs – from the fashionably functional to seductive statement. 
Image: V&A
High points include the pointed shoes of the middle ages when the length of the toe was an indication of status, and the emergence of the heel, first for men and then for women in the later Renaissance period. The dashing Cavalier knee boots of the Restoration were followed by the introduction of increasingly elaborate buckles, and then dainty mules made out of exquisite silks and satins. 

The 19th and 20th century has seen many changes in both production and design from the button boot to 1920s bar shoes; giving way to 1940s utility styles, 1950s stilettoes and 1970s platform soles; and today’s innovative statement shoes. 

Throughout, Fiona examines the principal styles, techniques and cultural connotations related to the history of shoes. 

Image: Heneghan Penn Architects

The lecture costs £125 / £110 concessions. To find out more please email

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That's it for until next week, happy shoemaking!