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The Charleston Museum Press Release
Exhibit to Feature Fashion Accessories of the Well-Shod 
1940s shoes
Charleston, SC - January 22, 2013 - The correct fashion accessory is as important as the garment itself. Some accessories are no longer in vogue - handkerchiefs, parasols, fans, walking sticks and even gloves. Others remain essential to that proper image - shoes, hats, purses and men's neckwear. From the collections of the Charleston Museum, Fashion Accessories, a five-part exhibition, will look at these clothing additions that really did complete the image for fashionable men and women in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The series begins with Fashion Accessories: Shoes, on exhibit January 26 - June 9, 2013. Installed in the study drawer section of the Museum's historic textiles gallery, footwear ranging from early 19th century pattens and delicate satin slippers to formidable boots and high button shoes will be shown. For more information, visit or call (843) 722-2996.

 late 18th century silk slipper

Different eras required specific fashions, from pointed toes and high heels, to square toes and flat  slippers. Sometimes delicate and impractical and occasionally bordering on ridiculous, women's shoe styles changed more dramatically than did those selected by men. In the mid-19th century, mass production of shoes was made possible by new technologies. America led in shoe-making innovations throughout the 1870s and 1880s with most manufacturers in New England. Those that could afford custom-made shoes still did so, frequenting Charleston shoemakers as well as imports from England and France.

Fashion Accessories: Shoes Highlights

patten The exhibition will include primarily women's shoes from about 1750 to 1989. Some of the highlights are a late 18th century pointed black silk slipper (pictured immediately above) that would have required a wood and iron patten (pictured left) for protection in the muddy streets, Sophie Prevost Jewell's 1830s yellow kid slippers with tambour work embroidery, and brocade shoes probably purchased in France by Mlle. Henrietta or Emma Manigault in 1867. There are 1870s white silk boots (pictured right) from Gartrell in Paris and white satin evening shoes made by the fashionable house of L. Perchellet on Place Vend˘me around 1890. 


Twentieth century shoes include quilted silk and L. Perchellet satin evening shoefur carriage boots from around 1910 and black satin high-button shoes (pictured below) made by D. Armstrong in Rochester, N. Y., c. 1916. On display are jazzy 1920s shoes from Ellison's in Charleston, Delman label brown leather and suede shoes from the 1930s and red, white and blue leather examples from the 1940s (pictured top), made by Naturalizer, Mainstreeter's and I. Miller. Even the stiletto heel of the 1960s is represented with a colorful pair of linen shoes (pictured bottom) retailed in Sumter, S.C.   

Images within this press release are from the collections of The Charleston Museum and should not be reproduced without permission. We are happy to provide print-quality images upon request. If you have a particular time period for which you would like images, please let us know that, too.
black satin high-button shoes c 1916 About The Charleston Museum 
The Charleston Museum, founded in 1773, is America's first museum. It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located along  Charleston's Museum Mile. Holding the most extensive collection of South Carolina cultural and scientific collections in the nation, it also owns two National Historic Landmark houses, the Heyward-Washington House (1772) and the Joseph Manigault House (1803), as well as the Dill Sanctuary, a 580-acre wildlife preserve. Museum hours are Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m. Museum admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children.
360 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29403

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The Charleston Museum
Rachel Giesy Chesser
PR & Events Coordinator
(843) 722-2996 x235
1960s linen stilettos