Summary

One right shoe - 'Mishelle' label, platform shoe, made in the 1970s in Italy. Probably purchased by Paragon as a sample. The shoe may have been made by Re Mishelle of Italy, still in business with a retail outlet in Via del Corso, Rome.

Paragon Shoes Pty Ltd was one of the most significant 20th century Australian shoe retailers, and at one time was the largest manufacturer of high quality of women's shoes in Australia. Its factory was located in Melbourne, and its shoes were sold throughout Australia and New Zealand.

This platform shoe is an exaggerated glam rock style, popularized by musicians such as David Bowie, Roxy Music and Marc Bolan.

Physical Description

One right shoe - platform slingback shoe with black patent leather uppers, featuring gold leather inverted teardrop motifs at throat. Platform shoe and heel, also covered with black patent leather; the sole is further decorated with a row of gold leather teardrop motifs.

Significance

The Paragon Shoe Collection comprises over 90 objects, including pairs of shoes and single shoes, point-of-sale materials and promotional materials such as business cards and an umbrella bearing the company name. The Collection documents the business and products of Paragon Shoes Pty Ltd, one of the most significant 20th century Australian shoe retailers, and at one time the largest manufacturer of high quality of women’s shoes in Australia. Its factory was located in Melbourne, and its shoes were sold throughout Australia and New Zealand.

The collection was largely donated by a member of the Davison family, which ran the Paragon business for most of the 20th century. It documents the changing designs of Australian women's footwear, from the 1910s to the 1980s. It illustrates the development of new shoe styles, from sample shoes bought overseas to shoes that went into production and were worn by Australian women. The collection is complemented by an archive held at the State Library of Victoria, including company records, shoe design sketch books and further point-of-sale material.

More Information

  • Collection Names

    Paragon Shoe Collection

  • Collecting Areas

    Working Life & Trades, Clothing & Textiles

  • Acquisition Information

    Donation from Mrs Diana Gaze, Mrs Diana Gaze, 26/10/2005

  • Date Made

    Italy, 1970s

  • Distributor

    Paragon Shoes, Melbourne, Greater Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

  • Inscriptions

    Printed on inside of sole: "MISHELLE / ROMA". "R7" written in biro on insole at heel. Impressed into underside of sole: "MADE IN ITALY"

  • Classification

    Clothing, Female, Footwear

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline

    Technology

  • Type of item

    Object

  • Object Measurement

    21.5 cm (Length), 7.5 cm (Width), 15.5 cm (Height)

  • Maximum dimensions

    218 mm (Length), 76 mm (Width), 156 mm (Height)
    Measurement From Conservation. Right

  • References

    Howard, G., 2004. Lex Davison: Larger Than Life'. Turton & Armstrong, Sydney. Copies of several newspaper articles about Paragon from the early 1920s were included with the donation. The State Library of Victoria holds an archive relating to the Paragon business, containing receipt books, account books, advertising, clippings, sample book, sketches, photographs and a poster - MS 13570. The content dates range circa 1928-1988. An additional archive, PA 01/05, ranges 1940s-1980s.

  • Keywords

    Footwear Industry, Manufacturing, Making History - Paragon Shoes