I have mentioned before how brilliant it is to be a member of the V&A. The different types of exhibitions that are available to see makes it special to visit this wonderful museum.
I like shoes and this exhibition of shoes through the ages is a delight to see. It would have been easy to pick a few hundred nice examples and display them. But to the credit to the team at the V&A they have challenged the viewer to look at shoes in a different light and how shoes have a different meaning through the thousands of years of history.
The exhibition has so many highlights. The beautiful 2000 year old Egyptian Roman sandals embellished in near pure gold to the vibrant red ballet shoes made famous in the 1948 film The Red Shoes to the Vivienne Westwood super-elevated ghillie in leather and silk satin ribbon made famous by Naomi Campbell stumbling on the catwalk with them. I haven’t even included the famous Sex and the City shoes worn by Carrie Bradshaw ;the heartbreaking silk shoes worn by 19th century women in China; the bath shoes of Egypt with the 28cm high heel.
Upstairs has the videos of the great shoe designers talking about their work and the shoe collections of people. One man who bought the ordinary everyday shoes for women for over 50 years: The collector who only decided to collect Adidas trainers: The collector who purchased high-street shoes. It was wonderful to see how different viewpoints of collectors can build over the years.
It is a fascinating look at history through shoes worn by the rich and poor, famous and not famous. It is a beautiful exhibition worth visiting before it ends at the end of this month.