It’s fitting that the Bata Shoe Museum opened its latest exhibit weeks before a general election in Canada. After all, the new exhibit The Roaring Twenties: Heels, Hemlines & High Spirits highlights shoes from one of the most important historical eras for women. By the start of the decade women around the world had finally achieved the right to vote. Soon their right to choose extended to their bodies too, as an initiative that would become Planned Parenthood legally opened in 1921.
The story of the Bata Shoe Museum is a fascinating one (you can check it out here). In total there are over 13,000 items filling the museum’s permanent collection. Founding chairman, Sonja Bata, welcomed the crowds and worked the room at the exhibit’s opening night cocktail reception. Her wit was on full display too, noting she was born in the 20’s but doesn’t remember anything.
Bata Shoe Museum curator, Elizabeth Semmelhack, pointed out the stark difference between a woman’s dress in the ‘teens and the 1920s. Essentially, with freedom, women’s fashion was born. Menswear and sportswear trends quickly followed. So did couture. It would be another decade before shoes with peep toes would appear. Oh, if they could see us now.
Special thanks to FASHION magazine for co-hosting the lovely reception.
|With freedom came fashion|
|Menswear influenced ladies’ “sporting togs”|
|Women’s summer wear shoes wouldn’t show toe for another decade|
|The cloche hat was as popular as the new bobbed hairstyle|
|If only our shoes could travel this way now|