Exclusive: The Subject Of The V&A’s Next Fashion Exhibition Is… Shoes!

Naomi Campbell’s iconic Vivienne Westwood platforms will take centre stage at Shoes: Pleasure And Pain in 2015.

The iconic Vivienne Westwood platforms responsible for Naomi Campbell’s famous 1992 catwalk tumble are set to become the centre piece of the Victoria and Albert museum’s next major fashion exhibition, Marie Claire has learnt.

Shoes: Pleasure And Pain will open on 13 June 2015 and will look at iconic examples of extreme footwear from around the world. ‘This exhibition will consider the cultural significance and transformative capacity of shoes and will examine the latest developments in footwear technology creating the possibility of ever higher heels and dramatic shapes,’ the V&A said this morning. ‘Examples from famous shoe wearers and collectors will be shown alongside a dazzling range of historic shoes, many of which have not been displayed before.’

Other styles earmarked for the showcase include a pair of Mary Quant ankle boots from 1967 and a papyrus sandal that dates back to Ancient Egypt and 30BC.

In what is set to be a full examination of the evolution of footwear, futuristic-looking pairs like Nicholas Kirkwood’s sculptural sandals and Miu Miu’s metallic boots will bring the story up to present day.

Major trend moments like Wannabe Patrick Cox loafers (remember when everyone had those) will also be analysed, and signature designs by Manolo Blahnik, Roger Vivier, Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin (who once famously declared that high heels are all about “pleasure with pain”) will be pulled from the museum’s vast archive.

Exhibition curator, Helen Persson, said: ‘Shoes are one of the most telling aspects of dress. Beautiful, sculptural objects, they are also powerful indicators of gender, status, identity, taste and even sexual preference. Our choice in shoes can help project an image of who we want to be.’

The news comes just months after the V&A announced that they will play host to the Met’s record-breaking exhibition, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, next March, meaning that their 2015 programme is already shaping up to be one of the most exciting ever.

As any major exhibition usually spawns a whole calendar of brilliant sideline events, we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for special lectures from a few legendary cobblers, too. And don’t even get us started on the gift shop possibilities…

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain will run at London’s Victoria And Albert Museum from 13 June 2015 – 31 January 2016.

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