Monday, December 5, 2016

Regency Foxed Slippers - Inspo

The Met, c. 1805-10
As we near the end of 2016 and look towards 2017, it's time to think about new historic shoe styles.


Whenever I start musing on new styles, I take a look at what's missing in the costuming community, what you ladies have been asking for, and where the holes in our shop are. The category that is meeting these criteria most right now is Regency. My how our Regency section looks lonely...

So it's time for new Regency shoes, but with that exciting proposition comes challenges. We want to create something that is different enough from the cheap-and-cheerful-Payless-ballet-flat but not too "out there" (we save those for the Exclusives, and yes, there will be Exclusives next year).

Through much discussion and research and musing and Starbucks runs, Abby and I are orbiting around a type of Regency flat we are seeing in several museum collection: The Foxed Slipper.

Foxing is the charming term for pieces of leather reinforcement found on fabric shoes. You're all familiar with 1830s-50s side-lace boots with foxing, but this trend started even earlier. It's a pretty addition as well as practical - the leather protects the sides and toes and sometimes heels of the shoes from wear.

The Met, c. 1812

The Met, c. 1800-1810. 

A less elegant design, but no less practical. These are from the Hopkins Collection. The photo is a snap from the book "Footwear" which is fab.
Many of the Regency era shoes with foxing exhibit it on the front vamp area, but some low booties also have the entire bottom half of the shoe foxed. Two-tones, especially in tan fabric and black or dark brown leather, appear very popular, but super-bright colors were also "a thing."

A Thing. Shoe-Icons, 1790s. Blue textile foxed with pink leather.
For the regular production line, we're thinking of trying these subtle two-tone low shoes in neutral and practical colors.

What do you think? Love them? Hate them?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Brooklyn Royal - Our First Pop-Up Shop in NYC!

And here I thought we were done with travel for the year. Nope!

Back to New York City we go (twice in one year!) for our very first, very special Pop Up Shop at Slapback in Brooklyn. This is a try-n-buy event with our Royal Vintage Classic 1940s Shoes, and is an opportunity for all you ladies of the NYC area to try on and walk out of the store with a pair of our reproduction 1940s shoes.

Click through for the event page and information on Facebook
We've never done an event like this before, so I have to admit I'm really nervous! I packed up six 20 lb boxes of shoes earlier this week and sent them ahead. We'll have one of everything there - all seven 1940s designs/colors and one in every size (6 - 10 and 11). It's a big undertaking, but I'm excited!

I'm also way-too-excited about the vintage outfits I've packed for New York. I went a little splurgy at OverAttired over the Black Friday weekend and got a splendid tweed suit and a showstopping rayon and crepe dress, both original 1940s. The suit is for the day, naturally, but the colorblock dress is reserved for a very special trip to the Metropolitan Opera to see La bohème.

I feel in love with this dress and just had to have it. Here it is modeled by Terra. I'll be sure to take a few photos the night of the opera :-)
So if you're in the New York Area, please come by Slapback Saturday or Sunday to hang out, gab about vintage clothes, and shop. I hope to see you there!

Friday, November 25, 2016

A Winter's Sale

It's that time, my dears! Welcome to the Holiday shopping season. We can't ignore it (nor do we wish to), but we want this to be a joyous time for you rather than a stressful one. So with that in mind, we've got specials for you....oh yes....

This year we have all sorts of goodies:

  • Look for the green "Freebies" banners on most of our shoes - these mean you get a choice of free accessories like silk stockings, 18th century shoes buckles, or button hooks on that product.
  • In addition, any non-freebies accessories purchased with shoes or in multiples gets a discount.
  • Victoria Carriage Boots and Dunmore 18th Century Shoes in White are on clearance - go get 'em because they won't be back.
  • We have a handful of Imperfects too. (these never last long)


Additionally, there's a sale on at We have a clearance sale section here, and will also be tempting you with FLASH SALES each day over the weekend. Friday through Monday there will be one of the Royal Vintage 1940s shoes on sale for $20 off for that day only. 

Follow @missroyalvintage on Instagram, Facebook, or sign up for the Royal Vintage newsletter to receive notifications of the flash sales (and coupons...and other stuff).

Happy Holidays, ladies! I hope you enjoy our sales and get some loverly things. Thank you for supporting our business. <3

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Finding Inspiration in the 1790s with Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun

Self Portrait by Vigee-Lebrun, 1791
Those of you who have been following for awhile will know I'm not a huge fan of, well, anything with an empire waist.

I just can't seem to find my groove with Regency attire. I see my gorgeous friends dressed in their early 19th century finery and I think they look fantastic, but when it comes time to wear it myself....not so much.

Part of this has to do with our own personal styles. When you're looking at pretty dresses on Pinterest, of course you will naturally gravitate to what fits your style, whether it's 2016, 1916, or 1816.

My style veers towards redingotes, pelisses, military overtones, menswear vibes, orientalism, and clean lines. Some eras seem like they offer more for my style than others - for instance, the 1780s are full of everything I love, but I feel the turn of the 19th century isn't.

Of course, I'm wrong! It's just a matter of finding those fashion plates, extant pieces, and paintings that speak to us.

When deciding on the chapters in our 18th century costuming book, coming out next year, Abby and I deliberated on whether to include the 1790s or not. The silhouette changed significantly in the 1790s, which we though was important to include. However, we want to *really* focus on the 1790s as a period aesthetically quite different from the fashions to follow, with particular attention paid to the cut of the gown and the accessories. We want to show a different 1790s than the typical, and explore a period of dress unique and interesting in itself.

Without telling you *too* much of what we've been working on, here are some of our inspiration images:

Atelier of the Artist (Madame Vigee Le Brun and her Pupil Marie Victoire Lemoine) by Vigee Lebrun, 1796 (The Met)
Portrait of Countess Catherine Skavronskaya by Vigee-Lebrun, 1790
Theresa, Countess Kinsky by Vigee-Lebrun, 1793
Portrait of Empress Elisabeth Alexeievna (Louise of Baden) by Vigee-Lebrun, 1795
Portrait of a Young Woman, by Vigee-Lebrun, c. 1797
Princess Belozersky by Vigee-Lebrun, 1798
These paintings are all by Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun. The fashions are both French and Russian, but you can see the clear interest this period had in Eastern dress. Some of the gowns are white, some rich colors. The accessories are many - turbans, whimples, shawls, chemisettes, long sashes, exotic colors. This is a side of the 1790s that, to me, is rich and interesting and full of lots of enticing details.

What do you think? Do you like these looks or prefer the more English style?