A Personal Collection of Vivienne Westwood Shoes

posted in: Fashion, Review | 0

Unfortunately this isn’t my collection.

It is a new exhibition that opens tomorrow at The Hub – The National Centre for Craft and Design – in Sleaford, Lincolnshire.  I was lucky enough to attend the launch viewing this evening, and oh what amazing design ideas Vivienne Westwood had.

Women have an obsession with shoes (I mean – did you see my earlier post?!!!).  Many admit to owning pairs they have hardly worn, others have rooms dedicated to them, and others spend thousands and thousands of pounds on them.  Some of us just dream of being a woman who can afford to have so  many shoes she doesn’t know what to do with them!

Dame Vivienne Westwood is best known for the creation of punk fashion with Malcolm McLaren in the 70s, and she has a reputation for innovation in design, often surprising people with her combination of fashion and art.

Black Spike Sex Shoe (late 1970s)
Black Spike Sex Shoe (late 1970s)

This exhibition includes shoes collected over 15 years, and covers Vivienne Westwood’s whole career in high fashion, from the early 70s.  Curated by David Sinclair, it not only shows off amazing design from the last 40 years, but also asks why we lust after beautiful creations for our feet.

Green Mock Crock Super Elevated Gillie (1993)
Green Mock Crock Super Elevated Gillie (1993)

The shoes are really quite amazing.  I was indeed in shoe heaven!  The exhibition takes you chronologically through the designs, each pair of shoes given its own perspex cube so you can see all angles.  And around the outside is the story of Vivienne’s career, along with some iconic photography of her shoes being worn.

The exhibition encapsulates an idea of luxury, design, desire and pleasure.  The exeedingly high heels and outrageous materials have a femine charm as well as being an object that encourages voyerism.  They are to be enjoyed by both the wearer and those who look on in amazement at the craft.  The men’s shoes also suggest a need to be seen – you can’t wear the Snake Shoes and not be noticed.  And an exhibition celebrating the design of Vivienne Westwood in this way is perfect.

Snake Shoe (2005)
Snake Shoe (2005)
Newsprint Boot (2000)
Newsprint Boot (2000)

I completely adore the “animal toe” on many of the boot designs, and the patterns and colours are (in the main!) gorgeous.  Many of the designs and styles I’d love to have to wear myself, she doesn’t only do catwalk footwear much of it is suitable for just a night out.

Tartan Script Low Court Shoe (2006)
Tartan Script Low Court Shoe (2006)
Lady Dragon Heart Shoe - Melissa (2008)
Lady Dragon Heart Shoe - Melissa (2008)

Oh and for the record, I did take part in the “Shoe Wall of Fame” and my choice of shoes for the launch event can now be seen for the rest of the exhibition… many ladies came in their own Vivienne Westwood shoes but I’m not lucky enough to own a pair… yet!  Basically it’s a wall of digital snaps of people’s shoes – I understand that this part of the exhibition will continue to grow so if you have a stunning pair of shoes you want to share with the world, make sure you’re wearing them when you visit The Hub.

Elevated Bondage Boot (2002)
Elevated Bondage Boot (2002)

Apart from the exhibition The Hub will also be running a series of events and workshops, including a design a shoe competition, a lecture on personal identity and fashion, and a walking-in-heels workshop.  More details of these events is available from The Hub.

The exhibition opens tomorrow, 29th January, and is open every day until 2nd May 2011.  If you like anything fashion and design you really must go and see it.  It is open daily from 10am to 5pm – and it’s free.

More information about the exhibition can be found on The Hub website here: http://www.thehubcentre.info/exhibitions/future-exhibitions/a-personal-collection-of-vivienne-westwood-shoes–/

What do you think? Comment below...