Shoes as genuine, finely fashioned objets d'art, ranging from Victorian boots to seductive slippers and from high heels to futuristic pieces. The unbelievable variety and inventiveness of so many shoe designs is a delight for the eye: the S.H.O.E.S. exhibition is a must-see for anyone with a passion for fashion.
From practical design to status symbol
Over the years various decorative elements have made their appearance into the world of shoe fashion: amongst others the floating heel, open heel, platform shoes, ankle straps and bows. Designers have constantly experimented with form, materials, colour and comfort. Cross-fertilisation and retro-reference have been combined with new experimentation. The woman's shoe has become increasingly elegant, and heel height has reached as much as 15cm. New technologies and materials such as micro-fibre, elastic and synthetics have made extreme forms, sometimes highly erotically charged, possible. The rise of the "couturier" fashion houses and their designers have taken the woman's shoe from attractive accessory to ultimate status symbol. Just as Sex and the City actress Sarah Jessica Parker swears by her Manolo Blahniks, many women long for new shoes as for new love.
Jewels from renowned collections
Numerous star pieces from celebrated collections will be on display in the S.H.O.E.S. exhibition - a collaboration with the Fashion Museum Hasselt - such as Perugia's surrealist 1931 design "Homage to Braque" from the International Footwear Museum in Romans-sur-Isère, as well as the first platform-sole sandal that Ferragamo designed in 1938 for Judy Garland. Naturally, there is also place for Roger Vivier, who invented the stiletto in 1954. Closer to home, many other splendid designs, such as the 1960 transparent plastic pump by Beth & Herbert Levine from the Fashion Museum Hasselt collection, and the 1985 colourful stiletto by Charles Jourdan from the Dutch Leather and Shoe Museum in Waalwijk. These grand-masters of shoe design will be featured alongside The Netherlands' own Jan Jansen, himself a member of the international elite since the early 1970s. Some well-known contemporary Dutch and Belgian designers will also be broadly represented in S.H.O.E.S., including Rem D. Koolhaas, Jan Taminiau and the rising talents Katrien Herdewijn and Nienke van Dee (winner of the Global Footwear Design Award 2013).
The exhibition has been made possible with the cooperation of the Fashion Museum Hasselt (based on "In Her Shoes", 2009, curator Kenneth Ramaekers), and the shoes come from the collections of the Fashion Museum Hasselt, the International Footwear Museum (Romans-sur-Isère), Museo Salvatore Ferragamo (Florence), the Bata Shoe Museum (Toronto), the Dutch Leather&Shoe Museum(Waalwijk), and the National Footwear Museum (Izegem, Belgium).
Culture connects, inspires, enriches and tells a story where we, Dutch citizens, come from. On the other hand culture is vulnerable and needs to be protected, so that we can enjoy its beauty together with the next generations.
The collection of MMH (completed with loans) is displayed once a year in varying arrangements with a specific theme. Beside these expositions, MMH presents expositions that focus on a certain designer, material or technique; or on crossovers between fashion and other art forms.
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