A display showcasing some of the highlights and curiosities of the Fashion Museum’s world-class collection of more than 3,000 pairs of shoes will go on show from Saturday 28th March 2020.
Demonstrating the creativity of shoemakers throughout history, more than 100 pairs of shoes and boots will be displayed, over half of which have never been on show before.
From the oldest shoes in the collection to shoes belonging to Her Majesty Queen Mary, from trainers and sneakers to designer shoes by Vivienne Westwood, Versace and Jimmy Choo, the Fashion Museum’s shoes on display will document the evolution of shoe style over the last 300 years.
Shoes will be interspersed with the fashions on display as part of the A History of Fashion in 100 Objects exhibition, celebrating fashion from the 1600s to the present day.
Rosemary Harden, Fashion Museum Manager, said: “In 2020 the Fashion Museum will ‘lift the lid’ on the Museum’s fabulous, and sizeable, collection of shoes.
“Our visitors keep telling us they love shoes! So, the Fashion Museum is thrilled therefore that this will be the year to showcase as many pairs, and as many styles – historical shoes, up-to-the-minute styles, platforms, trainers, stilettos, mules, slippers – as possible, both in the gallery displays here in Bath, and worldwide through our online platforms.
“Stand by for variety, originality, creativity… and pairs and pairs of fashionable and extraordinary shoes for men, women and children through the ages.”
Star objects in the display include:
- The oldest shoe in the Museum’s collection: a red velvet mule with gold and silver embroidery covered with raised work metal thread embroidery in real gold thread ca 1690s.
- Wooden pattens with iron ring ca 1720s – these were worn outside to save your shoes from the roads. In Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion, the clatter of iron pattens on the streets of Bath gave Anne Elliot a headache.
- Queen Victoria’s boots ca 1850s made by Joseph Box, London.
A special feature will be the Wearers’ Wall, at the heart of the Museum galleries, giving visitors a glimpse of the lives of the original owners and wearers of the shoes that are now preserved for posterity in the Fashion Museum collection.