"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."
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.
(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.