Furlane (shoe)

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Woman's slipper made in pink silk with golden embroidery. Venice, 19th century.

Furlane or friulane shoe-slippers, also known as Gondolier slippers, are casual, flat, but sometimes high-heeled shoes. They usually have a velvet fabric upper and a flexible sole made of rubber. The rubber sole is the defining characteristic of a pair of furlanes; the uppers vary widely in style.

Origin[edit]

The furlane shoe was created in the countryside of Friuli towards the end of the Second World War. Inspired from the great tradition of the Republica Serenissima in terms of fashion, it combined the prestige of Venetian fashion with the spite of rationing in the context of post-War economic crisis.

As Red Cross nurses gathered the donations of velvet and fabric as well as old rubber from private donors and small businesses, they were used to offer simple and practicable jobs to the unoccupied in various hospitals such as the Military Hospital, the Morelli di Popolo, the Regina Margherita.[1]

Sold on the Rialto Bridge, they then appeared at the feet of the Venetian gondoliers, who used them not to ruin the wood of the precious gondolas, and it is said that even the Venetian nobles wore them to sneak in silence, thanks to the soft soles, in the night from their secret lovers.[2]

Modern furlanes[edit]

Since the summer of 2016, the furlane shoes are walking their way into high fashion.[3] They have often been reshaped into an elegantly modified, elongated shape that has a smidgen of heel and a softly peaked toe.

Spotted at the Venice Biennale,[3] the furlane shoes have won appeal for their ethical origins from eco-friendly recycled materials,[4] simple elegance, and adaptability to various circumstances.

Manufacture[edit]

The manufacture of furlanes is generally more complex than that of slippers. The upper part is the most sophisticated part.

See also[edit]

  • Bast shoes, similar footwear in Balto-Slavic cultures of identical etymological derivation (from fibre used in their manufacture)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Scandaletti, Paolo; Variola, Giuliana; Mejer, Sita Camperio (2008). Le crocerossine nella Grande Guerra: aristocratiche e borghesi nei diari e negli ospedali militari : una via per l'emancipazione femminile (in Italian). Gaspari., p. 123.
  2. ^ Digital, Di Redazione (2018-05-02). "Le friulane (o pantofole) sono le scarpe basse più chic dell'estate 2018 (alternativa perfetta alle ballerine)". ELLE (in Italian). Retrieved 2018-12-16.
  3. ^ a b Farrell, Aimee (2016-08-05). "The summer shoe solution". Financial Times. Retrieved 2018-12-16.
  4. ^ "Le Furlane, the gondolier slippers". The Heritage Studio. 2013-01-08. Retrieved 2018-12-16.