Vivienne Westwood Shoes Retrospective at Selfridges London

Flame Shoe - Tied to the Mast, SS1998 © Leila NABIH, 2010

The Ultralounge in Selfridges London is currently hosting a retrospective of the work of one of the most iconic British designer, Vivienne Westwood. Shoes, more specifically, are under the spotlights, and the exhibition is covering not less than five decades of flamboyant creations.

Shoes must have very high heels and platforms to put women’s beauty on a pedestal”, once said the designer, and she has been since then determined to make these pedestals genuine works of art, as well as to put women’s beauty higher and higher – to the point where the simple act of walking becomes an adventure in itself. I think no one has forgotten how Naomi Campbell fell over on the catwalk back in the nineties, while working a pair of nine-inch-heeled shoes, the famous Super Elevated Gillie platforms (which are, by the way, on display).

Nearly 200 shoes, from iconic pieces like the pirate boots to the most recent creations, including men’s models, are displayed at the Ultralounge until 22nd September. Vivienne Westwood’s shoes are fascinating not only because they are most of the time incredibly beautiful, with colours and patterns to die for, but also because they are telling a story. The designer has been highly influenced by history, and more specifically by British heritage, from Victorian dandies to pirates, and each model is like a time travel – through a funky machine… Enjoy the ride!

Cut-Out Court - Prince Charming, AW2010 ©Leila NABIH, 2010
White Boot with Mirror Eyelets - Voyage to Cythera, AW1989 ©Leila NABIH, 2010


Propaganda Pirate Boot - Propaganda, AW2004 ©Leila NABIH, 2010

Satyr Boot - AW2009 ©Leila NABIH, 2010

Spanish Boot - On Liberty, AW1994 ©Leila NABIH, 2010

Exploration Brocade Gillie - Exploration, SS2001 ©Leila NABIH, 2010

Mock Crock Elevated Gillie - Anglomania, AW1993 ©Leila NABIH,2010

Vivienne Westwood Personal Goats Chain Boot - SEX,1973 ©Leila NABIH, 2010

Bell Sandal - Nymphs, SS2002 ©Leila NABIH, 2010

Laurie Guillem / Photos: Leila Nabih

 Vivienne Westwood Shoes, An Exhibition 1973-2010, Selfridges London, 26th August-22nd September 2010

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