Manolo Blahnik Showcases 160 Shoes Alongside 18th Century Art That Inspired Them in New Exhibit

The Wallace Collection in London premiered its most stylish exhibition yet — 160 shoes from Manolo Blahnik’s private archives. The collection debuted yesterday (running through Sept. 1) at the museum alongside 18th century art that has served as inspiration for Blahnik’s designs.

an enquiring mind exhibit, manolo blahnik, shoes, art, wallace collection museum
The Wallace Collection museum features 160 pairs of Manolo Blahnik shoes.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Manolo Blahnik

The gallery is structured as a chronological journey through Blahnik’s imagination, curated by Wallace Collection director Xavier Bray and the designer himself. The 10 rooms are akin to the theme of the shoes in the gallery, spanning rooms dedicated to commedia dell’arte to the ancien régime.

“The installation encourages the viewer to think about craftsmanship, the importance of the creative process, from drawn sketch to final realization,” said Yuriko Jackall, curator of French paintings.

Style Name: OLVID0Theme: GALARef No: 472Manolo Blahnik
Style Name: OLVID0<br />Theme: GALA<br />Ref No: 472<br />Manolo Blahnik
CREDIT: Janie Lightfoot Textiles

The full breadth of Blahnik’s work is presented at the museum, from the candy-colored shoes designed for Sofia Coppola’s award-winning film “Marie Antoinette” to his meticulously fashioned, jewel-encrusted shoes that reflect the diamond-coated gold boxes of the Wallace Collection’s boudoir cabinet.

“This is an incredibly exciting opportunity to showcase the way in which the Wallace Collection has inspired one of the world’s greatest fashion minds,” Bray added. “It also enables our audiences to see the collection in a new light and make connections between the many artistic disciplines to be found in the museum.”

See more images from Manolo Blahnik’s Wallace Collection exhibit

Hanna McNeila is the author of this story.

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