Shoes: Pleasure and Pain Exhibition at the V&A

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Shoes: Pleasure and Pain Exhibition at the V&A

The latest display at the V&A is open to the public from the 13th June- 31st January 2016 and will feature more than 200 pairs of contemporary and historic shoes from across the globe. Many of the pairs are on display for the first time, making this exhibition even more unique.

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain Exhibition at the V&A

HN Nadja Fashion Dolce & Gabbana American Vogue Monte Carlo 1995 high and mighty Auermann

Across the 2 floors, visitors can explore the aspect of wearing shoes and the obsession they can inspire.  Amongst a luxurious, boudoir interior design providing a comforting and elegant atmosphere, a feeling the shoe obsessed will be familiar with.

The curator of the breathtaking exhibition is Helen Persson delved into the archive of shoes from 2000 years ago. Ranging from gold leaf sandals sourced from ancient Egypt to futuristic 3D printed shoes, most likely featured on the catwalk. So make sure you get a glance of the impressive 3D designs.

The exhibition will also include shoes worn by iconic women including Marilyn Monroe, Queen Victoria, Sarah Jessica Parker and Hon Daphne Guinness to name but a few. These recognizable pairs will be shown alongside the famous ballet slipper designed for Moira Shearer in the 1948 film ‘The Red Shoes’.

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain Exhibition at the V&A

Freed of London founded in 1929 red ballet shoes made for Victoria Page Moira Shearer in The Red Shoes 1948 silk satin braid and leather England 1948

Footwear from men and women by approximately 70 luxurious designers including Manalo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo and Prada will also feature in the exhibition, providing a must see for fashion enthusiasts.

Exhibition curator, Helen Persson said:

‘Shoes are one of the most telling aspects of dress. Beautiful, sculptural objects, they are also powerful indicators of gender, status, identity, taste and even sexual preference. Our choice in shoes can help project an image of who we want to be.’ 

The exhibition will be based around three themes Transformation, Status and Seduction.

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain Exhibition at the V&A

Caroline Groves Parakeet shoes Photography by Dan Lowe

Transformation:  Myth and legend shoes. Featuring cultural interpretations of Cinderella Story from around the world. All designs magically transform the life of the wearer. Taking you through the childhood fairytale once again, but in a stylish way.

Status: Impractical shoes. Worn to represent privileged and leisurely lifestyles. The material design and shape are unsuitable for walking in, unfortunately. But this theme feature the Vivienne Westwood blue platforms worn by Naomi Campbell in 1993. This section also exhibits Alexander McQueen and Sophia Webster.

Seduction: Sexual empowerment. Japanese gets, extreme heels and tight-laced leather boots alongside erotic styles will be displayed.

The exhibition will tour to Bendigo Art Gallery, Queensland Museum and Science Centre, Peabody Essex Museum and the Savannah College of Art and Design in the USA.

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain Exhibition at the V&A

RiRi Sophia Webster Spring-Summer 2013

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain Exhibition at the V&A

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Written by Roxanne Cawthorne

International Fashion Promotion student in Manchester. Who's hobbies are creative writing, blogging and reading. In her spare time she frequently reads fashion magazines and follows leading style blogs.

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