The transformative power of extreme footwear will be explored in the V&A’s summer 2015 fashion exhibition, Shoes: Pleasure and Pain. More than 200 pairs of historic and contemporary shoes from around the world will be on display, many for the first time. The exhibition will explore the agonizing aspect of wearing shoes as well as the euphoria and obsession they can inspire.
The V&A’s shoe collection is unrivalled, spanning the globe and over 2000 years. For Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, curator Helen Persson has delved into this, other international collections and the wardrobes of private individuals to select an exceptional range of shoes from a sandal decorated in pure gold leaf originating from ancient Egypt to futuristic looking shoes created using 3D printing.
Shoes worn by or associated with high profile figures including Marilyn Monroe, Queen Victoria, Sarah Jessica Parker and the Hon Daphne Guinness will be shown as well as famous shoes, such as the ballet slippers designed for Moira Shearer in the 1948 film The Red Shoes.
Footwear for men and women by 70 named designers including Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo and Prada will be on display. Historic lotus shoes made for bound feet and 16th-century chopines, silk mules with vertiginous platforms designed to lift skirts above the muddy streets, will also feature.
The exhibition will be shown over two floors. The luxurious, boudoir design of the ground floor gallery will examine three themes: transformation, status and seduction.
We can’t wait!
Shoes: Pleasure and Pain
13 June 2015 – 31 January 2016