Bronze stage shoe of Ada Cavendish with Louis heel. Victorian Era.

The American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking: How to Hand Sew Georgian Gowns and Wear Them With Style by Lauren Stowell (Author), Abby Cox (Author).

Lauren Stowell and Abby Cox of American Duchess have endeavored to make the impossible possible by bringing historically accurate dressmaking techniques into your sewing room. Learn how to make four of the most iconic 18th century silhouettes―the English Gown, Sacque Gown, Italian Gown and Round Gown―using the same hand sewing techniques done by historic dressmakers.

Bronze stage shoe, Ada Cavendish, Victorian Era,
Three bronze shoes, the first worn on stage by the actress Miss Ada Cavendish

BRONZE stage shoe worn by the well-known actress Miss Ada Cavendish *). Louis heel, somewhat square toe, embroidered finely with steel, and large brown satin-pleated bow with steel buckle.

*) Ada Cavendish  (1839 –1895), known for her Shakespearean roles (Juliet, Beatrice and Rosalind) and for popularizing Wilkie Collins’ acting in America, Ada Cavendish made her theatre debut in 1863 in musical parodies of FC Burnand and others.

Bronze shoe No. 2 is one of the smallest in the collection, and belonged to Miss Marsh. It has a pointed toe, Louis heel, and plain little bow of brown satin ribbon.

The third shoe, also in bronze, has very pointed toe, with pearl and gold embroidery, which also adorns the small bow, leaf-like in form. The side seam is stitched with silk galloon, similar to what binds the outside edge. The heel is Louis in style.

Source: Ladies’ Dress Shoes of the Nineteenth Century by T. Watson Greig of Glencarse. Edinburgh: David Douglas 1900.


Note:  Parures. Les modes du second empire 1852 a 1870.

Support and Seduction: The History of Corsets and Bras (Abradale Books) by Beatrice Fontanel.

Thoughout the ages, women's breasts have been subjected to the endless whims of fashion. From the ancient Greeks to Mae West and Madonna, this light-hearted book charts the changing shapes of female beauty. The elegant and amusing images - including fashion drawings, paintings, photographs, and film stills - illustrate the often surprising history of the garments women have worn for support - and seduction.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Couture: then and now Clothes define people. A person's clothing, whether it's a sari, kimono, or business suit, is an essential key to his or her culture, class, personality, or even religion. The Kyoto Costume Institute recognizes the importance of understanding clothing sociologically, historically, and artistically.