© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Baring of soles
Shoes: Pleasure and Pain at the V&A Museum in London
London’s Victoria and Albert Museum has a shoe collection that spans 2000 years. Curator Helen Persson chose 250 pairs from the V&A art and design museum as well as from other collections for Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, on now through January 31, 2016. Sandals decorated in gold leaf dating from ancient Egypt are on view as are lotus shoes made for bound feet, 16th-century chopines and silk mules with dizzying platforms designed to lift skirts above muddy streets. Contemporary shoes designed by Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin and Prada are on view too and there’s also futuristic-looking shoes created using 3D printing. The exhibit’s ground floor “boudoir” examines three themes: transformation, status and seduction. The first floor’s “laboratory” dissects the design and creation process, laying out the story from concept to final shoe. Tickets £12 ($24). vam.ac.uk/shoes.
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