The Beauty and the Beast Slippers: The Story Behind an Iconic Character and a Fashion Trend

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Introduction: What is the origin of the slipper?

The slipper has a long and illustrious history dating back to ancient civilizations. Ancient Egyptians wore sandals or slippers on their feet. The word for them, “sabag”, is derived from the word for foot, “sba”. The first written evidence, found in the tomb of Tutankhamen, describes those slippers made of animal skin.
The Romans also had footwear on their feet called “Ocreae”. These were constructed from leather and were worn by all classes of people.
In medieval Europe, women wore soft shoes that laced up to their ankles as they were more suited to dancing than walking. In the 16th century, a new design was invented where the shoes had wheels…

beauty and the beast slippers
beauty and the beast slippers

What are some popular objects that have turned into fashion trends?

PATTERN: Make three copies of the pattern at the bottom of this page. Trace one copy onto brown craft foam. Cut out the pieces and tape them together.
HOW TO MAKE: Cut a rectangle from the foam. Measure up 2 1/2″ from one long side of the rectangle and mark it with a diagonal line that is 3/4″ in from one edge of the rectangle. Make another piece of brown craft foam exactly like this, using the same measurements. Glue this to the top of your first piece of foam so that you have two rectangles stacked on top of each other, right next to their centers. The top one should still be 3/4″ shorter than the bottom one.

beauty and the beast slippers
beauty and the beast slippers

What types of footwear have come out of this trend?

CUTTING: Carefully cut out your pattern pieces, marking them clearly with the number or letter code so you know which pattern goes where.
EMBROIDERING: You will need a needle and stiffish thread. Start by marking the top of each foot and ankle on the pattern piece with a dot or cross so you know where to start when you put the needle through. Dots, crosses, or little circles are all good options for this.
STITCHING ON THE FLAT SURFACE: Use slip stitch to sew along all of your stitches on one side, as if you’re going to embroider them too. This prevents the thread from showing when you’re finished and also makes it more comfortable to wear if it pulls less.

beauty and the beast slippers
beauty and the beast slippers

How has this trend manifested in pop culture?

Reese Witherspoon wore a dress made of the pattern on the red carpet at the Golden Globes. Also, the pattern has been used in a number of movie posters, referencing both the Beast’s castle and Belle’s home.
The “beauty and the beast” slippers were first worn by Belle in the Disney animated movie, “Beauty and the Beast” (1991). They are a feature of her iconic yellow ballgown. The slippers were later made into a pair of actual shoes, featuring a an animated golden rose on the front.

beauty and the beast slippers
beauty and the beast slippers

How has this trend progressed into a cultural phenomenon today?

The Love Slipper has become a signature part of the fairy tale and is used every year as a symbol for many charities and fundraisers. The pattern is used on things like blankets, jewelry, scarves and other clothing items. The slippers are designed as part of the Cinderella theme portrayed in the 2010 film, “Cinderella”. The Love Slipper was launched in 1980 and has produced a vast collection of fairy tale–themed items, many of which are worn by children. The Love Slipper is manufactured in the United States.

beauty and the beast slippers
beauty and the beast slippers