Wednesday, September 4, 2013

History's Runway: A Pair of Leather and Velvet Pattens, 1730-1740

Pair of pattens
c. 1720
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Pattens—overshoes of wood or iron—were cumbersome at best. Leather overshoes and clogs served as a more comfortable alternative, protecting the shoes without being dangerous. This pair from the early Eighteenth Century, for example is crafted of leather and partly covered in green velvet. It was made for a matching pair of brocaded, patterned silk shoes. The pattens were worn over the shoes, attached by latchet fastenings with ribbon ties. These overshoes were fitted to the arch of the shoes so that the foot would be supported, even with higher heeled shoes. 

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