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Drinking to the Shoemakers

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With Shoes: Pleasure and Pain now in full swing, I thought it was about time to raise a drink to the shoemakers of 17th and 18th century Europe! Across Europe, drinking alcohol was deemed essential for the good health and harmony of society at all levels. Rituals, such as toasting and drinking games, were performed […]

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Getting To The Point Of Medieval Shoes

9019b/1. Cutting from printed book of devotion. Initial O with three  youths and three ladies on a hillside with a town in the distance. Netherland, late 15th century. © V&A Museum

The V&A’s new Shoes exhibition showcases some of the craziest trends in footwear throughout history. One of my favourites is this extremely long-toed Medieval shoe from the Museum of London. In my previous post about ostentatious medieval headdresses I wrote about using manuscripts as a source for images of clothing, so couldn’t resist having a […]

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The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 123

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The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 123 I’m in Italy and it’s the last day of shoes so we go to possibly the king of women’s shoes.  Born in Romagna, Italy (a region very close to my heart) in the 1930’s and inheriting his father’s tools and artisan traditions, Rossi worked through […]

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The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 122

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The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 122 Shoes Shoes Shoes (& Boots) not just fashion 129 Whitechapel Road E1 today and we’re off to buy some work clothes. ©Barnaby Barford 2014

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The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 121

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The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 121 Goldhawk Road, Shepherd’s Bush today and a specialist in Italian and Spanish footwear. Not much to say about this except that it is the sort of shop I love, the one that is overlooked, dismissed for being neither derelict and edgy or being beautiful or […]

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The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 120

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The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 120 Oooohhhh Bespoke Shoes! Nice. Dawes Road, Fulham today and we’re with Tony.  Must be beautiful to have a pair of bespoke shoes. Top or bottom though? The question is – Is this shop now closed or was it temporarily shut? If it is it really […]

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The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 119

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The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 119 Continuing our shoe journey through London with this chic shop on Maddox Street off Bond St. Ladies’ favourite Charlotte Olympia with it’s cat motive and fun bags. I did some filming in here with a friend who described shoe shopping like candy buying for grown […]

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The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 118

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The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day 118 Shoes – a jaunt around some of London’s shoe emporiums for the next few days. There is something distinctly unique about buying new shoes. What is it about new shoes? I remember s a child putting a pair of new trainers next to my bed […]

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Guest Post: Installing Shoes- Pleasure and Pain

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Second year student on the V&A/RCA History of Design MA, Joanne Pilcher takes us behind the scenes of the installation of the exhibition ‘Shoes Pleasure and Pain’. ……………. Recently Gallery 40 in the Victoria and Albert Museum has been a hubbub of activity as we have prepared for and installed everything for the exhibition ‘Shoes: Pleasure […]

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Impractical shoes

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To mark the opening of our wonderful ‘Shoes: Pleasure and Pain’ exhibition, I’d like to share with you these photographs, which came to light as part of my ongoing research into the historic reference photographs we have here at the V&A. These images show shoes in the collection of the Musée de Cluny in Paris. […]

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