Art Deco Society Shoe Show!

art deco shoes

I had the pleasure and privilege of attending a special art deco shoe show and lecture last night, presented by the Art Deco Society of California. It was held at the storied Elks Lodge in downtown San Francisco. This is a photo-heavy post so I’m just going to get to it. It’s what you came here for, right?

elks lodge

(Here’s a peek into the big ballroom that the event was held in. More on the Elk’s Lodge itself in a bit.)

art deco shoes

Tables of shoes lined the perimeter of this great room, supplied by local vendors. Nearly everything was for sale. I wasn’t buying for the shop (everything was at full retail price) nor was I buying for myself, as I found just two pairs big enough for my modern tall girl-sized feet (that weren’t repro) in the whole room, and they weren’t that amazing. So I abstained from purchasing anything, which in the end was fine.

art deco shoes

Those white ones are from I. Magnin, and if y’all know me, you know that I am obsessed with all things I. Magnin. The idea of this Bay Area grand duchess of a department store whose doors closed decades ago fascinates me. 

art deco shoes

art deco shoes

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These two pairs were really something. On the right, 1920s French yellow snakeskin mary jane heels in almost perfect condition. On the left, lavender and pale blue 1930s heels.

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Even more amazing? These shoes said ‘Ramona’ on the inside, which is the name of my cat. That really would have been reason enough to buy them (despite the fact that they were gorgeous all on their own) but they were about a size six and that’s just not going to work for me.

art deco shoes

elks lodge

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vintage keds

Take a guess at who made these white 1920s canvas shoes. Keds!

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Although it predates the art deco period, here is a real shoe button hook.

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The Elks Lodge itself was a fascinating place. You walk in off the street into what looks like a hotel lobby, then take the elevator to the third floor. When the doors open, there you are. There’s a lot of special Elks ephemera behind glass, and apparently in the hotel’s basement is a full-size vintage swimming pool.

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Here’s the one shot of my outfit for the evening, inside in elevator with my coat still on.

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Seriously, there was something interesting on every floor.

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And let’s not forget the actual floor itself.

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