Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Red Shoes

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"She looked at the red shoes, and she didn't think there was any sin in that. She put on the red shoes. Why shouldn't she? And then she went to the ball and began to dance.
But when she wanted to turn right, the shoes danced to the left, and when she wanted to move up the floor, the shoes danced down the floor, down the stairs, along the street, and out the town gate. Dance she did, and dance she must, right out into the dark forest."

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This is my interpretation of this month's Pickwick Ladies Book Club read, Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales. I picked the tale of the Red Shoes, which is eerily wonderful, in the way that every fairytale is. The story goes that a narcissistic girl wears her red shoes to a ball rather than taking care of the woman who took her in as a baby. Because of this her shoes are cursed and she must dance in them, until finally she manages to get the town executioner to chop off her feet. It's quite creepy, really!

I really picked this tale because I love my red heels and I rarely get a chance to wear them. I found them in a vintage shop in Edinburgh, and they have the most wonderful detailing on the back. The black dress is one of my most cherished items of clothing. It is not really mine, it was my great grandmother's, and I am the only one out of my siblings and cousins who has the good luck of being exactly the same size as her. She had the most wonderful selection of clothes, including many pieces from the famous House of Worth, Paris. This dress also has a black brocade jacket that goes with it. The gathering on the chest and stomach is so beautiful, and the train itself is many yards of fabric that hang in folds around the little bustle at the back. The pictures don't really do it justice, the richness and weight of the fabric is something that I have never seen on a dress from this era. As for the outfit details...everything is vintage. The silk petticoats are both my mother's, as is the Liberty of London scarf, and the coat is one of my incredible vintage thrift finds; it has a blush pink taffeta lining.

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(A benefit of taking photos at my parent's house in the country: having axes around as handy photo props.)

For other news about The Pickwick Ladies Book Club have a look at our Facebook page, and check out these posts from other members of our book club: Maria, Beatrice, and Veronika. There will be more photos going up on facebook this week as other members post their looks.

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Do you feel like joining us? Our read for December is Mel's pick, Little Women. We will be posting outfits on our Facebook page in the last week of the month, so feel free to put up links to your Little Women Inspired looks!


ms. elisabeth said...

pretty :)

veronika, tick tock vintage. said...

holy crap, this is awesome. so incredibly styled! and you look badASS with that axe.

gee said...

these pictures are beautiful.
i loved how you styled your outfit with the red shoes.
&& i love the bottom detail on the white dress..its perfect.

amanda said...

i don't even know where to begin!!! love love love love that white dress. and you with that axe...super awesome. you did such a great job with this! and that's such a cool story about your grandma's dress. neither of mine were quite so stylish :)

Maria Confer said...

You looks so glamorous in that dress. Adore your interpretation and how you went into the woods with the axe!!!

Lulu Letty

mode. said...

so beautiful! stunning black dress, just... wow! love the axe, too ;)

Kelly said...

These pictures are magazine worthy. You are absolutely stunning!!

In the Weeds and the Whimsy said...

That fairy tale is perfectly strange. What a torture that would be.

Also, I'm so jealous of your vintage family finds... mine only include weird bridesmaid dresses... oh well

Sydney, The Rabbit-Hearted Girl said...

these are both beautifully styled and photographed! you're lucky to have such gorgeous vintage hand me downs!

mariska said...

"hot" shoes!
and amazing white dress..


Kristina said...

*GASP*** You look beautiful!!!
Kristina J.

Beatrice said...

love your interpretation! and I love love that you did two outfits!!! ^,^

Myriam said...

What great photos! That fairytale sounds oddly familiar...I think I've seen an Asian horror film based off of it?

Such awesome vintage hand-me downs! I think you've done a great job capturing the essence of the fairytale.

Myriam from Myriad of Mischief
♥ ♥ ♥

Amber Blue Bird said...

I love that you had an axe handy for this shoot, it adds a nice creepy touch. I am going to try and think of ideas for the little women book and see if I can come up with something worthy enough for the club :)

Shallow Mallow said...

Wow, love the detail on your white dress and the fabric of the black one looks amazing too :)
Great shots.

Now to get my brain thinking in Little Women mode..

Aubsent From Texas said...

the photo with the ax is just perfect! Love it all!

marionachic said...


captain kimi said...

these shoes are amazing! What a divine colour.

ideaing said...

love love love LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!


blouse said...

love this!! that dress is absolutely amazing! i'm so glad you commented on our blog so i could find you!

i always follow maria (lulu letty) and noticed her post about the fairy tale. i now see that this is a book club! i am pretty excited to have discovered that! i totally want to join! is there anything in particular you have to do?


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