So it turns out i’m not the only one obsessed with shoes (and bags-but thats another story for another day); the V&A showcased an entire exhibition based on shoes, the evolution of footwear, well known shoe designers who have dedicated their lives to shoes (for us) and shoe-a-holics alike.
Shoes; Pleasure & Pain, was quite an interesting exhibit. As much as it was thoroughly fascinating walking around glass cabinet display boxes one after the other; both admiring and questioning the the variety of stilettos, mules, pumps, mary-janes, boots, ballet shoes, platforms and sandals…etc; I also found myself learning a thing or two.
From bazaar designs (that honestly look rather uncomfortable), to the simple, sweet and delicate as well as your classic styles and teeny-tiny shoes for bound feet (from China, before foot binding was banned*), not forgetting the history of shoes, the construction process and designer influences; the V&A had quite a display.
*Once a symbol of beauty and status, foot binding, also known as lotus feet, was carried out in China since the 10th century, falling out of favour in the early 20th century before it was outlawed in 1911. – [ Mail online- click here to read and see more on foot binding]
Teeny-tiny foot bound shoes aside, elite shoes also always push the boundaries of form and ignore the anatomy of feet. Whereas sports makers aim to enhance physical performance, elite shoe designers are unconstrained by corners or practicality. Hence the odd styles, DIY flat-packed clear acrylic shoes, 3D printed shoes and other unusual designs- to say the least!
Shoe making takes into consideration; design, sculpture and engineering; fusing function and art into craftsmanship and technological innovation. Heels are a complex product formed by dozens of parts, to bring the perfect balance that up holds the weight of the wearer as well as a fabulous looking shoe. Having said that, many important elements are not even visible in the finished product and whilst heels seem like simple construction, disassembled elements reveal many layers – that come together just like a jigsaw puzzle!
Who would have though it eh; piecing together the pieces of your Louboutins, Manolos, Jimmy Choos..etc, just like a kid in a toy story! #Shoe-a-holic
Shoes Obsessors: [Excluding me] Left to right…
…Robert is a 3 stripes collector- Adidas of course. He collects mostly vintage trainers and has travelled the world for rare finds, to which are increasingly hard to source day by day, step-by-step!
…Katie is also shoe obsessed and collects high-street shoes; filling book shelves upon book shelves. Despite not being designer shoe obsessed (guilty), she does own a one off pair of fabulous McQueens.
…And last but not least, the late Lionel- a women’s shoe collector also collected regular (non designer/ high-street shoes) but of high quality. He died in 1969 and collected about shoes from 1914- mostly unworn and many unboxed! His collection represents the scarcity of shoes in the inter-war years.
So what can I say; shoes, shoes and more shoes- sounds about right to me! With a small collection of designer shoes and larger collection of high-street shoes (trainers included); I could be next on the list. #WatchThisSpace