Shoes: Pleasure and Pain

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This exhibition, organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, displays more than 200 pairs of shoes, from ancient Egyptian slippers embellished with gold leaf and the seductive signature red soles of Christian Louboutin heels, to cutting-edge designs created by contemporary designers experimenting with new materials and the latest technology.

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain features historic footwear as well as platform boots worn by Elton John, Princess Diana’s shoe lasts, and David Beckham’s soccer cleats.

Designers and labels include Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Nike and Vivienne Westwood, as well as two iconic pairs of shoes from film history; the famous red ballet slippers from the film “The Red Shoes” (1948) and the Swarovski crystal slippers featured in Disney’s “Cinderella” (2015).

Debuting with the exhibition is “Touching the Sole,” an interactive tactile display that enables visually impaired visitors to engage with replicas of many of the shoes displayed.

Image: Invisible Naked Version Andreia Chaves 2011 © Andrew Bradley