Available exclusively at Pacific Place, Roger Vivier’s bejewelled heeled mules let beauty blossom from the feet up
Spirit of the age
As the V&A Museum’s enlightening show Shoes: Pleasure and Pain opens, the reading and understanding of footwear will become ever more nuanced. The exhibition surveys the triumphs in footwear design through the centuries, underlining how shoes can speak volumes not only about the wearer but about the times we live in. The ever-changing mode for heel heights, toe shapes, decorative effects and materials shows how the shoe has become the number one messenger of fashion, as well as a harbinger of the times ahead. Throughout the centuries, shoes not only came to be seen as adornment for the feet but have been interpreted as a cipher for fashion, an object of dreaming as well as a barometer of women’s evolving roles.
As Vogue wrote in 1920, ‘And how expressive of character is our footwear! Watching the feet go by, one may learn almost as much as by looking in the faces of their wearers. Women have always understood the importance of shoes.’ From cowboy boots to flower-like Cinderella heels and wild animal prints, shoes’ expression today concerns individuality, adventure, hybridisation and cultural collision.