One of the things I was very much looking forward to on our trip to the UK was visiting Selfridges. It has – I think – the best shoe department in London and the clothing really does run the gamut of affordable and chic through to luxurious and deeply prohibitive and costly. I have many happy shopping memories from my trips to Selfridges.
But this time I was heading to the store to see the Vivienne Westwood shoe exhibition. Held in the basement Ultralounge, the exhibit celebrates four decades of Dame Vivi Shoe Style – from her extraordinary platform boots on the 1970s through to her environmentally friendly and fabulously stylish collaboration with the manufacturer Melissa. With more than 200 pairs on display – from catwalk creations to shoes available for the average person (i.e. more affordable) the exhibition promised much – and delivered.
I was overwhelmed by the display – cases and cases of the most fabulous creations, thing you could never imagine. Each shoe is truly a piece of artwork and often defined the age for which it was created.
As a complement to the display, there was also a screen running with Vivienne Westwood couture shows from the ages showing the shoes “in situ” if you will. The only thing lacking, I thought, was more graphical representation of the shoes – there was much room for more images of shows, of the shoes used in editorial. But this is a small criticism of what is, in essence, a truly wonderful retrospective.
The display only runs until the 22nd of September (eek! that's tomorrow!) so if you are in London hightail it over to Oxford Street. It will be time well spent.