The Shoe: Bigger And Bolder Than Ever

There is an eternal footwear obsession readily embraced by all facets of the fashion and media world. Marilyn Monroe once said, “if you give a girl the right shoes she can conquer the world.” We all know women can never have enough shoes; however, it’s becoming apparent women not only need a myriad of shoes in their closet, but in the space around her.

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Some of the shoes soon to be on display. Photo Credit: The Guardian


Curators are taking this obsession one step further in London. Three dedicated exhibitions are due to open within the next two months, all dedicated to the ever-evolving world of the shoe. The Design Museum’s Life On Foot (opening 13 May) centres on Spanish brand Camper, who this year celebrate their 40th anniversary. The exhibition consists of the creation process this quirky company undertakes when completing their designs. Nina Due, head of exhibitions at the Design Museum declared “whether people dare to admit it, we judge people by what they have on their feet.”

The second show focuses on brand Rayne Shoes For Stars and takes place at the Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey, opening 22 May. The brand have experienced major success in the past, holding the reputable honour of creating the shoes Elizabeth Taylor wore in the 1963 classic Cleopatra.
The exhibition allows patrons to appreciate the shoes separate from entire outfits and “offers a new perspective,” according to museum head Celia Joicey. The exhibition will also be accompanied by guided talks, events and workshops.

The third show, V&A Pleasure and Pain, opens on the 13th of June and looks at the extremes of footwear from around the globe. It will consider the cultural significance and transformative capacity of shoes, along with an examination into the latest technology developments that allow for the possibility of ever-higher heels and more dramatic shapes. The exhibition also embraces some of the most eccentric and elaborate designs to date.

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Chopines, about 1600. Photo Credit: V&A


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Wedding toe-knob paduka Silver and gold over wood India, 1800s. Photo Credit: V&A


From works of art to statement pieces, shoes truly do come in all shapes and sizes. Their cultural significance is undeniable. For anyone wanting to enrich their knowledge on the history and vast variety of the shoe I would highly recommend FIB’s titles focusing specifically on the heel and its evolution:


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FIB Title 35. Available at Amazon Books
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FIB Title 35 Pt 2. Available at Amazon Books.