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Roger Vivier 1953 Boule Pumps Designed for Actress Marlene Dietrich

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by HauteCouture, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. sewingmachinegirl

    sewingmachinegirl VFG Member

  2. HauteCouture

    HauteCouture Registered Guest

    Here you go!
     

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  3. sewingmachinegirl

    sewingmachinegirl VFG Member

    Thanks!! :)
     
  4. Catbooks1940s

    Catbooks1940s VFG Member

    you're welcome :)

    ok, i think i solved the mystery. vivier did design a pair of boule (french for 'ball') heels for dietrich in 1953, but not these shoes. these are a later (most likely 80s) example of vivier boule pumps.

    here's an illustration of 1953 vivier shoes, created for queen elizabeth's coronation in 1953, and as you can see, the heel is a much different shape, which makes sense for 1953.

    coronationvivier1954shoe.jpg

    so the vivier site gave the example of your shoes as boule shoes, but not the ones designed for dietrich.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2014
  5. Catbooks1940s

    Catbooks1940s VFG Member

    that's interesting, melanie. i recall the a, b, c, d width system up until sometime in the 60s, and it then being replaced with the modern n, m, w system we now know.

    you're right about charles jourdan also using the boule heel design. i had a pair from the late 70s, and wasn't aware it was vivier who first came up with the idea.
     
  6. Catbooks1940s

    Catbooks1940s VFG Member

    yes, the heels are too thin for 1953, but mostly i'm commenting because of that 1947 new look dior photo! which has always bothered me. the stiletto shoes it's shown with can't possibly be from 1947, so did someone have a forwards-and-back-again time machine to style and take the shot? :drinking2:

    i think you're right. i think the 1947 dior classic new look suit shown is an original, but it only makes sense that it was shot about a decade later, shown with then-current shoes!
     
  7. Retro Ruth

    Retro Ruth Queen of Tech Staff Member

    We still use a b c d e in the UK today, by the way.
     
  8. Pinkcoke

    Pinkcoke Alumni

    Although we share some of the letters Ruth the UK system is different yet again. UK widths are C, D, E, EE etc. any shoe marked A or B is using the american system. Some of the most traditional UK shoemakers, such as Church, have still retained this system.
     
  9. Retro Ruth

    Retro Ruth Queen of Tech Staff Member

    right - I had wondered if it was the same system
     
  10. Catbooks1940s

    Catbooks1940s VFG Member

    that's interesting. so i gather a u.k. c width is a narrow? very confusing.
     
  11. Retro Ruth

    Retro Ruth Queen of Tech Staff Member

    Yes standard shoes are D. This is from Clarks:

    Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 15.50.00.png
     
  12. Pinkcoke

    Pinkcoke Alumni

    Yes, occasionally you will find a Clarks shoe is listed online as a C, usually because the style comes up narrow, not because they want to make a narrow fitting shoe....
     
  13. Retro Ruth

    Retro Ruth Queen of Tech Staff Member

    Clarks have shoes they offer in a choice of C, D or E, so it is deliberate.

    I thought that the loss of A and B was just because we have wider feet now than decades ago, so A and B were no longer in use. But that was just my theory!
     
  14. Pinkcoke

    Pinkcoke Alumni

    Yes I know they do make shoes in C by choice, but you will see some styles that only come in a C - such as some of the patterned sand boots they had recently (and lots of people in the reviews complained they were narrow!).
     
    Retro Ruth likes this.

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