Shoes: Pleasure & Pain…

Victoria & Albert-00My oh my, oh my, oh my… The “Shoes: Pleasure & Pain” exhibition at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum is enough to make any girl weak in the knees!

I do believe that the only thing above and beyond spending a day shopping for shoes is substituting the time perusing through this fabulous exhibit of magnificent footwear. As if the city of London itself isn’t enough of a reason to jump on a plane and hop over to the United Kingdom, you now have no excuse whatsoever to pack your bags and book your flight.

What’s that? You can’t possibly go? Well relax, for I have assembled for you a sample of the wonderful offerings on display. So read on and enjoy but beware… after a thorough review of my offering you might not be able to resist the urge to bump up your credit card balance and flip for the trip after all! Enjoy…

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“Running June 13, 2015 through January 31, 2016, this exhibition looks at the extremes of footwear from around the globe, presenting around 200 pairs of shoes ranging from a sandal decorated in pure gold leaf originating from ancient Egypt to the most elaborate designs by contemporary makers.”

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“It considers the cultural significance and transformative capacity of shoes and examines the latest developments in footwear technology creating the possibility of ever higher heels and dramatic shapes. Examples from famous shoe wearers and collectors are shown alongside a dazzling range of historic shoes, many of which have not been displayed before.”

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“Shoes are commodities and collectibles. The luxurious and impractical shoes that clearly signal privilege and status have long been objects of desire. Today, a pair of shoes by Jimmy Choo or Prada is a more coveted possession than any other item of clothing. Spending large amounts of money on a pair of shoes is pleasurable because it is excessive. From the designer shoe lover to the trainer enthusiast, footwear obsessives do not acquire shoes for their value as assets or investments. Shoes are collected for the pleasure of possessing, because of the beauty of shoes and sometimes for the memories and associations that go with them.”

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“Extraordinary footwear appears in folklore from all over the world. In these stories, our choice of shoes has consequences and can reveal our true selves. The virtuous Cinderella is restored to her rightful position in the world through her slippers, while Karen’s red shoes discipline her for her vanity and ill-advised aspirations. Shoes punish and reward, elevate and entrap, speed and hinder through their powers of transformation.”

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Often impractical in decoration and shape, these shoes make a clear statement that the wearer does not engage in manual labor. Such shoes also dictate the way the wearer moves, and how they are seen and heard.”

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“Shoes play an important part in what different cultures consider to be sexy. Together with feet, they have long been the subject of fetishism. Sexy shoes affect the movements of the body, titillating the watcher and creating a sensual experience for the wearer. These shoes are often strongly associated with gender. Femininity is typically represented by shoes that make feet look small, either in reality or through illusion. Wearing shoes while naked makes nudity all the more audacious.

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Making shoes is a process of design, sculpture and engineering. Makers fuse function and art through traditional craftsmanship and technological innovation. To satisfy the changing tastes of fashionable clients, designers use skill and ingenuity to create innovative styles and to deal with the structural challenges of extreme footwear. One of the ongoing trials for shoemakers has been the demand for increasingly high heels.”

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I do believe I’m going to faint now… and dream of countless hours perusing this exhibit!…

Shoes: Pleasure & Pain at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum

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