21 February 2013

End Of An Era

First it was the costume shop. This time, the theatrical shoemaker in my office building went belly up.


He had shelves and shelves of shoe lasts, old wooden forms, most speckled with nail holes, many still sporting masking tape labels with the names of the actors/dancers for whom he'd made custom footwear.



Some were for flat shoes; others for high heels. A tiny doll-like pair was for a dwarf; a huge size 13D for an N. Wyman. The shop smelled like leather and ancient cigarette smoke, hot metal and dust.



Like the costume shop, he went out of business because no one wants custom made shoes for Broadway shows. Or no one wants to pay for custom made shoes. Or no one needs them?



And now, no longer necessary for their intended purpose, a pair of high-heeled feet - 7C, Dottie Frank - sit on a windowsill in my living room, a reminder of the days of handwork and small factories, of craft and things made one at a time.


9 comments:

Sandy Repp said...

What was the costume shop that closed?

Sarah said...

That makes me sad.

Lady M said...

So sad! I've always wanted to have shoes made custom to match a ballgown.

De said...

Even the forms are beautiful. I am glad that some things (like shoes) are more readily available than they once were, but I wish people didn't make and buy so much unnecessary crap just because its possible to do so cheaply.

Jocelyn said...

Oh, this is bittersweet. I'm full of envy and a certain mournfulness, and the combination equals melancholy for times past.

V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios said...

I guess it's a sign of my age that these sorts of things unsettle me, perhaps more than they should. When I read about Sear or JC Penney's being on the brink, when beloved bookstores close, when the U.S. Postal Service is struggling and magazines folding, I feel like it's not just a business big pieces of my life that have become obsolete.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I never thought about custom shoes. The forms are very cool and I love the way you're using them.

mayberry said...

Wonderful pictures. I'm glad you got to take and share them.

Emily said...

So sad.