Early 19th Century Ackermann Illustrative Plates Collide With Contemporary Fashion:
Lasell University Students Explore Intrinsic Links Between History and Modern Design
Object ID:
Object Details:
For over 160 years, the Swiss luxury-goods maker Bally has been best known for producing some of the most beautiful and well-made shoes and leather accessories in the world. In 1990 they expanded globally, opening and growing operations in countries such as Japan, Australia, Turkey, and Brazil. These simple black leather ankle boots feature a slim black buckle closure in lieu of laces, leaving the tongue exposed. The ¾ inch heel and squared toe creates a sensible design which is reminiscent of 17th century Puritan footwear. Infamous for an obsession with santanic possessions, especially among women, the Puritans favored subdued colors and simplicity, rather then the vain promises of the immodest and undevoted.
Compare to this record: Ackermann Fashion Plate
Cultural Connections:

A fascination with witches and their dark mythology was evident in cult films of the 1990s such as The Craft (1996) and Practical Magic (1998) that promoted a grim fascination with moodily morbid themes.21 This 90s aesthetic made its way into fashion, bringing forth a dark feminism supported by flowing skirts and dresses, wide-brimmed hats, and certain period details like buckles on shoes. Both the Ackermann illustration and the shoes transfix the mind to create a bewitching backstory for the wearer. Mood and attitude burst forth from both objects as the viewer is treated with the suggestion of mourning that whirls around in the continuation of purputially ominous themes.
20 "Mourning Dress," The Metropolitan Museum, accessed November 25, 2020. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/159230.
21 Samantha Sutton, "They Don't Make Witch Movies Like They Did in the 90s," Cosmopolitan, July 9, 2020. https://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/movies/a24041947/best-witch-movies/.
Click to Enlarge