On June 10th The Wallace Collection in London premiered it’s most stylish exhibition yet, “An Enquiring Mind: Manolo Blahnik at the Wallace Collection.” The museum debuted a personally selected edit of shoe designs from Manolo Blahnik’s private archives. The collection, which will be on view for free until Sept. 1, 2019, was set alongside the 18th Century art that has served as inspiration for Blahnik’s designs.
While the exhibition, curated by the Wallace Collection Director, Dr Xavier Bray and Manolo Blahnik himself is not the first showcase of Blahnik’s designs, it is the first opportunity to see them in direct dialogue with the art that has shaped his work.
The gallery is structured as a chronological journey through Blahnik’s imagination. Each of the 10 rooms in the museum are akin to the theme of the shoes in the gallery. The themes move from a room dedicated to commedia dell’arte and rise of public spectacle in 18th-century France to the avant-garde fashion of the late ancien regime.
“The installation encourages the viewer to think about craftsmanship, the importance of the creative process, from drawn sketch to final realization.” Said Dr Yuriko Jackall, Curator of French Paintings.
The full breadth of Blahnik’s work can be seen in the exhibition, from the candy-colored shoes designed for Sofia Coppola’s award-winning film, Marie Antoinette, to his meticulously fashioned, jewel- encrusted shoes which reflect the diamond coated gold boxes of the Wallace Collection’s Boudoir Cabinet.
Despite the ordinarily conventional collection of the Wallace Gallery, the museum’s curator pushed tradition aside for Blahnik’s creative designs.
“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.” Said Dr Xavier Bray, Director of the Wallace Collection. “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.”
Click through the gallery to see the exhibition.
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