Cover image for Shoes
Pratt, Lucy.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London : V&A, 1999.
Physical Description:
128 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 21 cm
Subject Term:
Added Corporate Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GT2130 .P73 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This account traces the history of footwear from the Middle Ages right up to the flamboyant styles of the late 1990s. Specially commissioned photographs highlight the elegance and beauty of embroidered shoes from the 17th and 18th centuries, and the delicate slippers worn by Victorian ladies.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

The authors, curators in the Department of Textiles and Dress in London's Victoria & Albert Museum, have compiled a glorious array of color photographs and period illustrations of rare bags and shoes from the museum. An informed and fascinating account of the development of shoes and purses since the Middle Ages results. Bags traces the development of this accessory from 14th-century girdle bags to 20th-century purses exhibiting the creative use of leather or manufactured materials. Shoes track decorative shoes, with varying heel heights, from medieval flats to modern lucite heels. Both books discuss men's and women's accessories but picture more of the latter, since more examples have survived. Using small type fonts to fit a great deal of information into a compact size (8" x 7"), these works are history books, not collectors' guides; there are, for example, no price listings. But savvy collectors will wish to read these authoritative tomes to gain familiarity with characteristic styles. Valuable for costume history students and other interested readers in academic, public, and museum libraries.--Therese Duzinkiewicz Baker, Western Kentucky Univ. Libs., Bowling Green (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Both these wonderful resources were put together by curators at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Each provides a retrospective of the evolution of fashion accessories from the 14th century to the late 1990s. Intermingled fashion plates allow readers to experience tastes of various periods. Exquisite color photographs of shoes and bags show outrageous as well as practical uses. The examples are striking. Bags has a predominantly British view of the evolution of the handbag; Shoes has a slightly broader worldview of subtle differences and similarities of shoe fashion. Each book includes a fine glossary of terms, highlighting common clothing and accessory terms with a specific slant toward its subject. Many of the terms are period specific and give a new dimension to the items themselves. A selected, well-rounded bibliography includes the work of noted scholars in fashion history and supplements the numerous references in the text to period trade journals and periodicals and the documentation of period plates and photos. Taken together, all these references offer excellent insights into the aesthetic and practical concerns of specific eras and illuminate the practical and aesthetic values of each period. Valuable additions to costume and fashion collections at all levels. S. R. Robinson University of Montevallo