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Decades of Shoes

By: Erica Dao
By: Erica Dao

Virgelee LeDue has always had a keen sense of style.
"I always had the idea that you could have a lovely outfit but if your shoes didn't look right, your out fit was ruined,” said Virgelee LeDue.
LeDue's passion for shoes all started after her 8th grade graduation in 1938. It was the depression, a time when nothing was wasted.
The Neillsville native bought four pairs of shoes from the sears roebuck catalog and has held on to them ever since.
"I took good care of those shoes so that I'd have them because there was a time when you had to have a ration stamp to buy leather shoes."
From that point on, LeDue's shoe collection has flourished into decades of footwear vogue. But having the latest stems came with a hefty price.
“For 30 years, I walked around in stiletto heels and pointed toe shoes and resulted with deformed toes."
LeDue's passion for fashion inspired her friend, Becky to photograph her near-400 pairs of shoes. And turn it into "Artshoe,” an art exhibit showcasing the collection.
The idea surfaced last summer and that's when Becky began the photo shoot.
"We went to the park, to the river, to the corn field, to the apple orchard."
The fancy footwear were on display in the foster art gallery in the Haas Fine Arts Center at U-W Eau Claire, where the two women were once students. Shoes may complete the look, but the look must start with the clothing, which LeDue also has enough of to create another exhibit with.


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