Shoes: Pleasure and Pain – the title of the new V&A exhibition sums up our love-hate relationship with them perfectly! I was fortunate to get a first look at this fascinating exhibition, spread over two floors, and I’d definitely recommend a visit. Sponsored by Clarks and supported by Agent Provocateur and the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers, there are over 250 pairs of shoes on display.
The exhibition features shoes worn by celebrities and historical figures – can you guess who these belonged to?
Got it in one – Imelda Marcos! The widow of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos is infamous for her huge collection of shoes. A famous fictional character enamoured with shoes is Carrie Bradshaw, from Sex in the City. Her shoe closet was the largest thing in her tiny New York apartment.
Three themes are introduced on the ground floor gallery – transformation, status and seduction.
TRANSFORMATION – these are shoes that magically transform the lives of the wearer, such as Cinderella’s glass slipper fitting only one owner.
I found these “sitting down” shoes fascinating, they come from India and were only made to manoeuvre short distances, shuffling forwards on your heels.
These Manolo Blahnik Tendona shoes also look beautiful, however imagine trying to run for a bus in them. Actually I once ran a race in Guiseppe Zanotti high heels for a Gok Wan show!
I was particularly taken with these amazing Mojito shoes in the foreground, by British engineer and shoe designer Julian Hakes. Both these and the shoes in the background were created using 3D printing techniques.
– From 13 June 2015 to 31 January 2016
– Tickets are £12 and can be booked online or by phone: 0800 912 6961
– While you’re there, make sure to visit the free exhibition, What is Luxury
V&A, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL