Friulane flats: the story of shoes loved by Kate Moss and the gondoliers
by Lucia Cellamare
The Friulian, also called Papusse, Furlane or Venetian are increasingly in vogue and a real must-have of the season in all their forms and declinations. The history of these wonderful flat shoes begins in the nineteenth century, initially born as an alternative to work clogs. At that time, the materials available were few and, even just for dressing, it was necessary to rely on recycled fabrics and objects.
Old bicycle tires were used for the sole, jute bags and rags for the upper. The Friulian shoes were thus composed of the poorest and most waste materials: bicycle wheels, jute, scraps of fabric and scraps of fabric. However, they soon became party or wedding shoes in the areas around Venice. Each family boasted its own personal variant: each seam, embroidery, decoration or shape of the tip was a real distinctive sign. Legend has it that at that time the Venetian Friulians were loved by the nobles because they were silent and allowed them to sneak lightly and unnoticed towards the rooms of the secret lovers; to then be able to show off nonchalantly with a dandy and artist style.
An unmistakable style that certainly could not go unnoticed.So, over the years, the Friulian slippers became the elegant slippers intended for welcoming guests into the house but, after the First World War, they also began to take hold among gondoliers. The gondoliers of Venice love the Friulians for their ability to leave no traces on the paint of the gondola. For this reason, the Friulian are also called "Venetian": comfortable, non-slip and not harmful to wood.
Centuries have passed, but the Friulian style is always the same, as well as the green approach and craftsmanship. The Friulan shoes continue to be hand-sewn, not to have a right and a left, to conform to the foot that wears them and to be worn with the heel raised or lowered. They are always very comfortable. The materials have certainly changed over the years, which today in addition to classic velvet and linen count an infinite range of premium fabrics: such as the best velvets and brocades, embroidered, decorated or even recycled fabrics. By now the Friulian are also produced in exclusive and unique pieces - using pieces of vintage fabric found in the markets or even used clothes, jeans and carpets brought by the same customers to commission their tailor-made Friulian. In fact, over the years they have become more and more used and numerous artisans and designers are still dedicated to their realization, giving life to different and creative multicolored variants.
Of course, the most popular version remains the classic one, in the shape of an almond, in velvet and with a thin rubber sole. Versatile and classy, the classic Friulian can be used both day and evening, perfect to combine with a long dress or jeans in its colorful variant, but also in more formal situations. In this case, opt for more sober models in solid colors or for models with embroidery.
The Friulian is a perfect combination of comfort and elegance, and is ideal to wear in different situations. A chic alternative to espadrilles, this shoe has been the protagonist of a real international success in recent years.
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Colored, with prints or embroidery, embellished with buckles, gems or bows, in leather, velvet or silk, the Venetian papussa has become one of the most loved shoes even by stars. The first was model Kate Moss, who said she fell in love with her after trying on a model in a shop in Venice. The real pioneer, however, was Marta Marzotto, renowned stylist and model of the last century, who loved to show them off in combination with her iconic caftans. Friulian shoes are genderless, loved by men and women.
If you swore that you would never wear ballet flats, espadrilles, loafers, slippers, you must certainly change your mind: if even Kate Moss, who is a collector of dream heels, hasn't even counted to three to be convinced that those Friulian slippers of velvet were perfect for her, it is clear that you too cannot fail to succumb to the charm of a Friulian. Because the Friulians have nothing to do with trends, seasons, collections. They have a very ancient and timeless history and perfectly adhere to that now indispensable philosophy of recycling.
So where will the heels go? Obviously, they will not disappear, but they will have to be content with sharing the scene with these slippers that are more chic than espadrilles, more aristocratic than dancers. As soon as you try the friulane shoes you fall in love with and never leave them. Because they look good with any outfit, with jeans, with evening dresses, on the beach, on the road, at home.
We have choices of all kinds: you can choose Swanky's classic Friulian shoes, which can be personalized with your initials, so as to give a unique touch to these flats shoes. Or you can choose the unique and baroque patterns of Cristina Di Milano: these Friulian slippers definitely have a chic and glamorous taste, they are perfect for a gallant evening. You just have to choose your favorite color, after which it will be only true love.
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