London is mad about shoes! Exhibitions at the Design Museum and V&A

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London declares its passion for shoes in two major exhibitions: Life on Foot, at the Design Museum, until 1 November 2015, and Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, open from 13 June at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Cover image: Red ballet shoes made for Victoria Page (Moira Shearer) in The Red Shoes (1948), silk satin, braid and leather, England. Artist: Freed of London (founded in 1929), 1948.
Photograph reproduced with the kind permission of Northampton Museums and Art Gallery.

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Above: Exhibition “Life on Foot”, Design Museum, London, Installation view.
Photos by Jill Tate. Courtesy of Design Museum, London.

While the exhibition Life on Foot, at the Design Museum focuses on the fascinating process of shoe design and manufacturing, though the example of the renowned Spanish brand Camper (see our full coverage here); Shoes: Pleasure and pain at the V&A, presents some of the most unconventional footwear in the history of costume, to depict their cultural and social background.  By displaying 200 shoe models, many never exposed before, from Ancient Egypt up to contemporary designers’ pieces, the exhibition also illustrates those cutting-edge manufacturing technologies that now make possible the most inventive and audacious shapes.

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Above: Chopines, Punched kid leather over carved pine, Venice, Italy, c 1600s
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London.


Above: Wedding toe-knob paduka, silver and gold over wood, India, made in the1800s
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London.


Above: Zaha Hadid for United Nude. Image Courtesy of United Nude and Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Design Museum
13 May  – 1 November 2015

Victoria & Albert Museum
13 June 2015 – 31 January 2016

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Andreia Chaves, ‘Invisible Naked Version, 2011. Photo by Andrew Bradley.

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