Show-stopping stilettos to gold leaf sandals featured at the V&A Pain and Pleasure exhibition

From sky-high stilettos to trusty trainers, the fabulous footwear of icons like Marilyn Monroe and Lady Gaga is on display at the V&A Museum.

The collection, which contains over 250 pairs spanning 2000 years from across the globe, explores how shoes have become a tool for transformation and symbol of status.

Including contemporary classics like Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin, the collection also includes more historical exhibits, like sandals decorated with pure gold leaf from ancient Egypt.

FORM MEETS FASHION: Architect Zaha Hadid designed structural heels © United Nude

Exhibition curator, Helen Persson, said: “Shoes are one of the most telling aspects of dress.

“Beautiful, sculptural objects, they are also powerful indicators of gender, status, identity, taste and even sexual preference.

“Our choice in shoes can help project an image of who we want to be.”



MARBLED MARVELS: Men’s shoes are also featured © V&A

Designer sketches, materials and embellishments are also display, including the shoe lasts made by H. & M. Rayne for Princess Diana, to show the innovative processes of designing and creating footwear.

The exhibition reveals the different cultural interpretations of the Cinderella story and the concept that a shoe can magically transform the life of the wearer, as well as how impractical shoes are often worn to represent privileged lifestyles.

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Classic Christian Dior courts up the ante © V&A

Famous shoes from the collection include the ballet slippers designed for Moira Shearer in the 1948 film The Red Shoes and the infamous Vivienne Westwood blue platforms worn by Naomi Campbell in 1993.

The exhibition will run until January 31, 2016.

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