Cinderella The glass slipper made for Lily James in the 2015 Disney Cinderella film.
Image via Disney

Unlike the Wedding Dress exhibition which gave a chronological history of wedding dresses, the curators of Pleasure & Pain have set out the displays with various 'themes' of shoes, from the use of heels throughout history to a small alcove decked in red velvet which is dedicated to the murky world of shoe fetishes and shoes as a sexual object. The David Lynch and Christian Louboutin collaborative shoes were one of the highlights of this section and although the display remained PG it gave an interesting side note to the world of shoes.

David Lynch One of the examples of footwear created by Christian Louboutin for David Lynch
Image via

In each of these themed shoes from different eras are displayed alongside each other and it may seem a pair of Jimmy Choos and a pair of Queen Victoria's shoes may not have much in common on the surface, the wearer will still have the same feeling when wearing the shoes whether it's a feeling of grandiose or comfort.

Jimmy Choo A pair of Jimmy Choos on display at the exhibition.
Image via

Naomi Campbell A pair of faux snakeskin platforms by Vivienne Westwood and worn by Naomi Campbell
Image via


Judy Garland Rainbow Salvatore Ferragamo's Rainbow platforms made for Judy Garland
Image via the Telegraph

The interesting historical examples of shoes includes shoes from various cultures, including examples of Chinese foot binding and Indian platform paduka shoes. There are of course pairs of shoes worn by celebrities as well, Lady Gaga, Kylie Minogue and David Beckham all have worn shoes featured in the exhibition. It is perhaps the pair of purple mock snakeskin platform heels that are the most famous (or even infamous!) as these are the pair supermodel Naomi Campbell famously took a tumble in whilst walking for Vivienne Westwood.

Indian An example of Indian wedding paduka footwear.
Image via Victoria & Albert Museum

The upper floor of the exhibition dedicates space and displays to the manufacturing of shoes, showing original designs by famous shoe makers such as Manolo Blahnik and wooden 'lasts' belonging to Charlie Chaplin and Lady Diana Spencer. Yet also highlights the shoe collections of different shoe fanatics, from a collector who scours the world for Adidas trainers to a girl who simply has transformed her bookcase to display her shoes from high street shops.

Wooden Shoe Lasts A collection of wooden lasts on display at the exhibition, including an example made for Charlie Chapman.
Image via

From setting foot through the entrance the exhibition feels like luxurious treat with the walls decked out in purple velvet and each pair of shoes carefully selected to highlight just what shoes have meant to us throughout the centuries.

The Shoes: Pleasure & Pain exhibition is on at the Victorie & Albert Museum in London until 31st January 2016.