Following a year-long closure due to the pandemic, the Fashion Museum Bath is provisionally due to reopen this spring with a stunning new exhibition called Shoephoria!.
Showcasing 350 pairs of boots and shoes, many drawn from the Fashion Museum’s world-class collection, alongside ‘star’ shoes borrowed for the exhibition, Shoephoria! will trace the evolution of shoe style over the last 300 years. Shoephoria! will run into 2022.
The exhibition will include shoes worn by iconic figures from British cultural life, including actors Noel Coward and Margaret Lockwood, music hall star Fred Kitchen, ballerinas Margot Fonteyn and Alicia Markova, and Nicola Adams in Strictly Come Dancing 2020. Shoephoria! aims to present a new way of looking at footwear and its wearers in a show that demonstrates the creativity and style of shoemakers and wearers throughout history.
From the oldest shoes in the collection – a pair of red velvet mules from the 1690s – to sneakers and trainers from the 2000s; from shoes belonging to Queen Mary and Queen Victoria to designer shoes by Vivienne Westwood, Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo, Shoephoria! offers a close-up look at the various styles that make up the history of footwear.
Star objects in the display include:
- Dancing shoes worn by Nicola Adams on Strictly Come Dancing 2020
- Shoes worn by iconic British ballerinas Margot Fonteyn and Alicia Markova
- Queen Victoria’s elastic-sided boots from the 1850s, by shoemaker Joseph Box
- Shoes and prosthetics worn by seven-year-old Harmonie-Rose Allen from Bath, a junior ambassador for Meningitis Now
- The oldest shoe in the Museum’s collection: a red velvet mule with gold and silver embroidery ca 1690s
- Noel Coward’s monogram-embroidered velvet slippers ca 1967
- A pair of long, green Russian boots ca 1900s worn by Lady Ottoline Morrell (1873 -1938), an English aristocrat on the fringes of the Bloomsbury Group
- Queen Mary’s diamanté bow shoes ca 1930s, by celebrated British shoemaker Rayne
- A pair of Dr Martens boots (about 2015) digitally printed with an image taken from famous series of Georgian paintings The Rake’s Progress by Hogarth
Share your favourite shoes with us!
As part of our Shoephoria! display there will be a Wearers’ Walkway, a photographic presentation of ordinary people and their extraordinary shoes.
What is your favourite pair of shoes, either from right now, or perhaps a much-loved pair from the past? We’d love to know!
Take a snapshot or share a story and tag us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #MyShoephoria.