Satin slipper with ribbon, leather sole
Museum no. T.272&A-1963
The delicate flat satin slipper with ribbon ties first became popular during the last decade of the 18th century. It signified a move away from what were considered to be the extravagant excesses of the late eighteenth century towards a simpler, purer style of dress and footwear influenced by classical antiquity.
By the middle of the 19th century slippers or 'sandal shoes' were still widespread although by the 1850s they were worn largely only for formal wear in black or white. This pair of shoes is a typical example of that style. The thin leather sole and delicate silk and satin uppers were relatively simple and cheap to produce. They could then be personalised with rosettes or other decorative embellishments if desired. These were simply tacked on to a piece of gauze which was then stitched on at the throat over the top of the existing standard bow which was already in place.