Erata… Peep toe shoes and CC41…

(Originally blogged October 16, 2009)

I hate being wrong and usually avoid being corrected by rarely stating absolute truths unless I know I can prove it, however I am the first to admit fault when I have found the error of my ways and to that end, I have to offer up some new tidbits of information that change a couple of facts in my books.

December 1935 advertisment for open toe shoes

When I wrote The Seductive Shoe I stated that the open toe, sling-back shoe was introduced in 1938. I still hold to that date for when that style became popular, however, Bret Fowler, a friend of mine and former Fashion Institute of Technology collections manager, found this advertisement from December 1935 that refers to the introduction of the peep toe shoe. I should have known better, since it usually takes a couple of years for a new style to catch on and become popular.

September 1941 snippet defining CC41 as standing for Controlled Commodity

In my Forties Fashion book I refer to CC41 (the British wartime clothing scheme), as standing for ‘Civilian Clothing 1941.’ This is the common definition found in every book I referenced although sometimes Clothing Control is said to be the definition. However, I never liked either explanation because the scheme was also applied to furniture and domestic textiles. I never found an official period reference that defined what the CC stood for; definitions of the term only show up after the war, in reminiscences, and memory is never a good resource. A snippet, that appeared in several American newspapers in September 1941, was turned up by Lynne Kranieri, a Vintage Fashion Guild member who is also adept at scrounging up newspaper articles from her research. The American press probably got their information for this story from a British source at the time, who defined CC41 as standing for Controlled Commodity – a sensible definition, considering the mark was used on more than just clothes.

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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2 Responses to Erata… Peep toe shoes and CC41…

  1. Nice to know of this ammendment, just been lying in the bath reading the chapter on peeptoes and slingbacks!
    Very inspired by the brogued shoes to design some bags based on them, thank you, your book has brought me hours of pleasure and a lot of inspiration…looking for more of your books to read, could you send me a list please, with thanks Karina

  2. Jonathan says:

    Hi Karina;
    My books include: ‘The Seductive Shoe – Four Centuries of Fashion Footwear’; ‘Forties Fashion: From Siren Suits to the New Look’; Shoes A-Z – Designers, Brands, Manufacturers and Retailers’; and ‘Ready to Tear – Paper Fashions of the 1960s’. There are some chapters published in other books, including 4 chapters on shoes, sandals, shoemaking, and boots in the encyclopedia of dress, and a chapter on the fashions of Lucy Maude Montgomery in a book about her her. Otherwise there are some museum catalogues and magazine articles. I am currently working on two books – a book about American fashion of the 1950s, and a book on fashion in the 1960s.

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