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Lady Violette

The Romantic Lifestyle

A Pair of Famous Paradise Kittens Circa 1950 From A Ballet Dancer’s Personal Collection of Red Vintage Shoes in the Lady Violette Shoe Collection

September 1st, 2011 by violette

Here is an additional pair of wonderful red vintage shoes from my personal ballerina’s collection.They are Paradise Kittens Spectator Pumps from the 1950s done in bright blue red leather with black accents.

Paradise Kittens Blue Red Leather Spectator Pumps with Black Accents ~ circa 1950.

Paradise Kittens were famous for their comfortable construction and fashionable styles. They emphasized comfort. They took out charming well done ads in major 1950s magazines. These made it into every upper middle class and upper class home and fueled the desire for their shoes. The women in the ads looked like they were living the life you wanted to be living and the implication was that you would be as soon as you owned several pairs of their fabulous shoes! They are beautifully cushioned inside and incredibly comfortable. And the styles are very appealing in that Town and Country super elegant tasteful lady like way. A feminine and charming look which I, for one, thoroughly approve of!

Paradise Kittens Emphasized Comfort and Beauty ~ The Heels were About 1 and 1/2 Inches High and Really Quite Elegant in Their Understated Way.

The heels on this typical style example are low – about one and a half inches high. The Kittens were made in America and emphasized patriotism in their add campaigns. The ad campaigns also showed the three to five styles you would need to get you through a typical day as a well dressed socialite, wife or mother.

They cleverly advocated buying three to five pairs every season to be prepared for every event you would need to attend as well as day to day activities. I heartily agree with this type of plan! Three to five new pairs of shoes every three months year after year sounds just fine to me! My grandmother loved them and actually played by their recommended numerical rules. She did buy that many shoes each season. Not all were Paradise Kittens, but many were. She loved the name too. So do I. It speaks of softness and luxury, don’t you think?

The shoes were made to last. They lasted way longer than a season. In fact she wore them, then passed them down to her daughters, who wore them. I finally received this pair. I think it lasted so long both because it was very well constructed and because it was an unusual color combination that was only worn with an outfit or two and was not used as often as their caramels brown and black ones. I also remember a pair of dark green, blue and purple ones with a cute loafer styling and a tassel. They were often designed to look good with tailored dresses, skirt suits, tweeds, capes, and wool coats ~ in general,  all elegant sportswear.

I have an adorable 1950s red plaid wool skirt suit from Bobbie Brooks which would have been one of the types of outfits originally intended to be worn with these Paradise Kitten Red and Black Spectator Pumps. The skirt is a narrow mid calf length pencil cut and the jacket is a boxy cut with padded shoulders. It is a strong red and black plaid from head to toe. I recently got it out to have it cleaned and tried it on, to decide what to do with it. Altogether it seems like way too much red plaid to me all at once right now! I have two ideas on how I want to use it now. I think I want to break it up and use the jacket with an original era appropriate solid black longish pencil skirt as one look;  and, as the second look, combine the red plaid pencil skirt with a modern black narrow tight fitting knit sweater top as another. I see wearing black opaque tights with both.

For me these shoes will be perfect with both looks. Today’s current fashions would dictate a high heeled black leather platform shoe with both of the looks I have described. Such shoes would definitely add height and elongate both looks, and look really great with both parts of the red plaid suit. It would require me to spend another $300 minimum ~ up to $800 for such a pair of on trend shoes. Personally, I have two reactions to this: I don’t want to spend that amount of money on that kind of shoes right now, and I actually prefer the look and the feel of this perfect little pair of 1950s Paradise Kittens for me. They are more comfortable and better for my body! Plus, I have them already! And I am a vintage purist. I like putting my outfits together using real components from the original eras! I think it is much cooler to be absolutely authentic in this way.

I am lucky in that I am the right size for these vintage looks proportionately as I am on the small fine boned side. They were designed for women about my size and height originally. When I get my two red plaid outfits completely worked out as I have described here, I will photograph them and post the results. It is the first of September today! It is time to start planning how to dress for fall. Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the season and the fashion possibilities. I love getting my capes and tweeds out at this time of year! And the cooler weather will be coming along soon. What a treat that will be!

Photos by Fredric Lehrman.

Shoes from The Lady Violette Shoe Collection

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