Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mercedes de Acosta, 1953
Not on view
Pietro Yantorny (1874-1936), the self-proclaimed "most expensive shoemaker in the world", was a consummate craftsman utterly devoted to the art of shoemaking. Yantorny sought to create the most perfectly crafted shoes possible for a select and exclusive clientele of the most perfectly dressed people. This pair of mules was made for Rita de Acosta Lydig (1880-1927), an avid collector of lace and antique textiles. Lydig dressed in a strongly personal style, often displaying Orientalist tastes in her attire. These mules are inspired by the Turkish babouche; the consequent allusion to the harem was especially appropriate to a boudoir slipper, although it is possible that Lydig wore them with one of her many harem dresses. The fabric is identical to that used in Near Eastern footwear, and was probably either collected by Lydig or embroidered to order.