Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Shoesday: Pleasure & Pain

London's Victor & Albert Museum will be home to an enviable shoe collection from 13 June 2015, with its newly announced Shoes: Pleasure and Pain exhibition. Looking at the extremes of footwear around the world, the exhibition will show about 200 pairs of shoes ranging from a gold leaf-decorated sandal from ancient Egyptian times, through to today's dazzling, often-times-death-defying high heels (often sans heel).

Attendees will be asked to consider the cultural significance and transformative capacity of shoes - and we're not just talking Cinderella getting her man thanks to her perfect glass slipper.

The exhibit will be organised around three themes: Transformation, Status and Seduction.
"Transformation" will highlight shoes that are now legend that through folklore and cultural influence have become "contemporary marketing tools for the concept of the modern-day, fairy-tale shoemakers, whose designs will magically transform the life of the wearer." (OK, that bit is about Cinderella).

"Status" looks at the correlation between impractical shoes, often designed in shapes and materials that make them unsuitable for walking and the people of privileged status who usually wore them. And along with the outlandish and absurd modern creations, there are Indian men's shoes with extremely long toes, noisy slap-sole shoes worn in 17th century Europe and 'Pompadour' shoes worn by trend-setting women in the 18th-century French court.
"Seduction" includes shoes that are "an expression of sexual empowerment or a passive source of pleasure. Like feet, shoes can be objects of fetishism. High Japanese geta, extreme heels and tight-laced leather boots will be on display as well as examples of erotic styles channeled by mainstream fashion in recent years."

Great shoes: weapons of mass seduction
So there you have it. If you're in London in June, please go and take lots of pictures. :o)

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