We, ‘shoe addicts’ are treated to another wonderful shoe exhibition. We can not get enough of it. Shoes – Pleasure and pain.

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. 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.

Throughout the centuries and across cultures, footwear has symbolizes high social status. 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. The collection is impressive and a reason to visit this summer.


Illustration is an impression of Vivienne Westwood Super Elevated Gillie 1993 (V&A) in which Naomi Campbell fell over on the runway in 1993. Leather and silk satin 

ribbon, Vivienne Westwood described her platform shoes as putting women “on a pedestal”. Given by Mrs Vivienne Westwood.


(supported by Clarks)

Victoria and Albert Museum 

South Kensington

Cromwell Road

London SW7 2RL


13 June 2015 – 31 January 2016

lllustration by Linda Zoon

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