V&A Shoes: Pleasure and Pain Press Day

Shoes Pleasure and pain

I’ve always thought of shoes as reified works of abstract art.

V&A shoes

Cinderella. My favourite shoe story. Cinderella – the girl whose shoes helped elevate her to a higher status. The tale of the ‘slipper test’ can in fact be traced back to 1st century Egypt.

Glass slipper

I went to the press day of the latest show at the V&A ‘Shoes: Pleasure and Pain’.

shoes pleasure and pain

Over 250 shoes were on display.

V&A shoes exhibition

From the tiniest ‘Shoes for Bound Feet’…

chinese bound shoes

Early 20th century silk, cotton and wood Chinese foot-binding shoes that resulted in a mincing gait…

Furry boots V&A

To these 1943 ankle boots made from an old fur coat as dictated by the lack of materials available during the Second World War… there is a shoe for every taste!


Some of my favourites include these 1958-60 Christian Dior shoes by Roger Vivier (below):

Christian Dior Roger Vivier shoes

And these 3D printed shoes and bright shoes made from one piece of carbon:

3D printed shoes

The deconstructed Manolo Blahnik shoe shows just how many different elements go into making our shoes:

manolo blahnik deconstructed

And a study of heels!

shoe heels

Very colourful and quirky shoes for men. Half a million winkle pickers (Best Name For Shoes Ever!)…

bright men shoes

men loafers phesant

shoes exhibition london

Shoes quote

The only horror is that we can’t take the exhibition home and fashion our wardrobes properly.

V&A museum exhibitions


‘Shoes: Pleasure and Pain’ (sponsored by Clarks, supported by Agent Provocateur) is on at the V&A and opens to the public on Saturday 13th June until 31st January 2016. Tickets £12 (concessions available)

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