Had a fabulous, if not slightly ambitious, day at the V&A on Saturday. Before lunch we saw Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, an interestingly curated exhibition mixing up historical shoes such as Queen Victoria’s slippers, with famous shoes such as Vivienne Westwood’s blue platforms which sent Naomi Campbell tumbling down the catwalk and David Beckham’s football boots. There were characteristic shoes such as the men’s platforms which the original wearer highlighted their utility for kicking the **** out of people! That wasn’t the image they conjured up to me. My favourites were the Victorian fetish boots, mainly because they were red and such a beautiful shape rather than particularly fetishistic. It was interesting to see the process of making shoes too – perhaps it will encourage a revival? Well worth a visit or a browse through the catalogue at your local library.
The second exhibition of the day was my favourite; The Fabric of India. It showcased a huge selection of fabrics, garments, hangings and more in a wide range of techniques from dyeing and printing to weaving and embroidery. It was interesting to see the roots and plants used to dye the fabrics and to see silk and cotton in production. I’m not sure I can choose a favourite, there were so many. The contemporary fashions were amongst them, combining techniques of print, embroidery and drapery. I’d wear any of them! If you are wondering whether you should make the effort to go, do, you won’t be disappointed! I’m looking forward to Christmas when I can see the catalogue again – its a pressie from my husband.