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Shoes: pleasure and pain - Exhibition - Victoria & Albert Museum - Knightsbridge  - London - Cityoki

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain. Two thousand years in the history of the shoe around the world

Until 31st January 2016

Until 31st January 2016, the celebrated Victoria & Albert Museum is hosting an inspiring fashion exhibition: Shoes: Pleasure and Pain. This exhibition which is both historical and about fashion goes back through two thousand years of worldwide shoe design, from Ancient Egypt to ultramodern contemporary models.

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain traces the history of the design and manufacture of shoes and also looks at their role in society. Throughout history, shoes have been a mark of identity. The elite, warriors and working people have always worn different shoes. Equally, women’s shoes have a strong effect on the way they move. Wearing one shoe or another is a matter of self-assertion, a public statement.

Shoes have always been the subject of fantasy and seduction, from their form, to the height of the heel, shaping and elongating the leg. For a long time the only visible part of a woman’s leg, the foot and its cladding were an invitation to sensual fantasising, rather like the tip of an iceberg.

Another aspect of the imagination dealt with in the exhibition is their fantastical side, presented in fairy tales like Cinderella and Puss in Boots. Nor are we allowed to overlook the symbolic difference between women’s shoes and men’s shoes.

Finally, Shoes: Pleasure and Pain presents the roles of design and skill needed to create these artefacts, indispensable to both male and female wardrobes. Shoes can be collected in the same way as works of art. In the final part of the exhibition, stilettos rub shoulders with the latest trainers, perfectly illustrating the dichotomy between shoes that constrain on the one hand and shoes that improve performance and comfort on the other.

Visitors can enjoy looking at over 200 models with their accessories, shown not in chronological order but more imaginatively.

For further details on the history of shoe’s exhibition

Place : Victoria & Albert Museum

Address : Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL

District : Knightsbridge

Open hours : Every day: 10am - 5.45pm

Transport : Metro: South Kensington

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