Exhibitions | A Century of Shoes

Posted in exhibitions by Caitlin Smits on April 30, 2016


From Fairfax House

A Century of Shoes celebrates the visual splendour and dramatic forms of a century of shoes from the opulent and extravagant Georgian era. From the fanciful footwear of the wealthiest to the functional mules of the down at heel, this new exhibition reveals the fashion and function of Georgian footwear.

For the wealthiest in society shoes were the ultimate fashion statement and accessory. Often luxurious and flamboyant in design, they showcased exquisite materials and craftsmanship which transformed them from being mere functional items into aesthetic objects of desire. Shoes, then as they do today, reflected the style, personality, gender and class of the individual who wore them. Spanning a century of fashion with over hundred shoes on display, A Century of Shoes: The Rise and Fall of the Georgian Heel celebrates the Georgians’ love affair with ‘heels’—charting the evolutions which took place in their design, the monumental shifts which took place in their manufacture and sale, and the crucial role they played amongst Britain’s shoe-obsessed elite as symbols of the wearer’s exquisite tastes and superior social rank.

New Book | Prinny’s Taylor: The Life and Times of Louis Bazalgette

Posted in books by Editor on April 30, 2016

Available from Wordery:

Charles Bazalgette, Prinny’s Taylor: The Life and Times of Louis Bazalgette (Tara Books, 2015), 380 pages, ISBN: 978-0987969200, $25.

510zVB7q4EL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_The excesses of George IV, his debts, and the huge sums that he expended on his wardrobe are legendary. It is, therefore, strange that the man who was the Prince’s tailor for over thirty-two years, and his principal tailor for over half of that time, should have been named, and then only in passing, in just two other books. Louis Bazalgette (1750–1830) has been a shadowy figure until now; the relationship between the two men was discreet and almost clandestine. This biography presents a detailed picture of an extraordinary man, of humble origins, whose influence on tailoring, and upon the Prince himself, must have been far-reaching. This fascinating story presents a new angle on Georgian and Regency life, as seen through the eyes of a little French tailor who by his own efforts became a wealthy propertied merchant. There is also a great deal of information on tailoring of the period. Some of Louis Bazalgette’s descendants also enter the story. His eldest son Joseph William Bazalgette, R.N, served with distinction during the Napoleonic Wars, and his grandson of the same name was a noted civil engineer. The author is Louis’s great-great-great-great-grandson.

Charles Bazalgette has worked in the IT industry in a variety of roles for over forty years. He lives near Salmo, a village in British Columbia, with his wife Trish. His interests are mainly in the past: research into family and social history as well as the restoration of old buildings, furniture, and clocks.