Running from Nov. 28 through March 8 at the Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas in Madrid, the retrospective celebrates the renowned shoemaker’s career, which has spanned 46 years, and his work as a form of art, highlighting his creativity, vision and craftsmanship.
Hosted by Vogue Spain and co-sponsored by Bulgari, the exhibition will include Blahnik and Bulgari’s bejeweled pair of heels along with more than 200 historic styles and 80 sketches.
Bulgari creative director for jewelry Lucia Silvestri designed the lime-green silk-satin pumps, which are adorned with pink and purple gems on the ankle straps. Inspired by Bulgari’s Festa collection necklace released earlier this year, the jeweled embellishments encompass 11 carats of diamonds, 48 carats of rubellites and 38 carats of amethysts cut in the shape of chili peppers.
Blahnik called the jeweled ankle straps “divine,” saying, “It has been an honor to work with such an iconic brand with a wonderful Italian heritage.” He added that the two companies share “the same vision and creativity to produce beautiful things for beautiful women.”
First unveiled in Milan in January, “Manolo Blahnik: The Art of Shoes” is a travelling exhibition curated by Cristina Carrillo de Albornoz, who has worked on the project for the last two years.
Organized in six sections according to Blahnik’s leitmotifs and inspirations, the show includes a “Gala” area displaying some of the designer’s most imaginative styles, such as the shoes he created for the Sofia Coppola–directed “Marie Antoinette.” There are also sections of the exhibit dedicated to the art, architecture and geography that have influenced Blahnik’s work.
Before landing in Madrid to honor Blahnik’s Spanish roots, the exhibition stopped in other locations that hold meaning for the designer, including the Palazzo Morando in Milan; the State Museum Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he often looks for inspiration; and the Museum Kampa in Prague, where the paternal side of his family hails. As its final stop, the show will be held at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto in 2018.