A major retrospective dedicated to footwear designer Manolo Blahnik has arrived in North America. After traveling around the world and stopping off at locations including Milan, St Petersburg, Madrid and Prague, Manolo Blahnik: The Art of Shoes is open now through January 6, 2019, at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto.
Dedicated to the Spanish designer’s decades-long career, the exhibition has been curated by Blahnik alongside Dr. Cristina Carrillo de Albornoz and based on the theme that shoes are works of art – an ethos that has driven Blahnik since he first started making footwear. As stated by the museum in a press release, “Using architectural and sculptural lines within his work, Blahnik exquisitely captures the imagination, transforming an everyday accessory into masterpieces of contemporary design.”. Over 200 shoes and 80 design illustrations are being put on display to allow visitors a first-hand insight into the designer’s creative process.
The personal approach to the retrospective’s curation means visitors will be able to see how architecture, art, botany, literature, cinema and countries have inspired Blahnik throughout the years. Key items on display include a selection of iconic styles from the 70s to today, exclusive video footage of the designer at work, and special items that were never made for sale. Shoes from his first ever footwear collection – for Ossie Clark’s 1972 fashion show – through to the shoes he made for Sophia Coppola’s 2006 historical movie Marie Antoinette will be on show at the exhibition.
From now through December, the Bata Shoe Museum is also hosting a program of events that tie in with the exhibition. Exclusively Manolo will see exclusive tours, special talks, workshops and film screenings that celebrate Manolo Blahnik: The Art of Shoes.
Toronto is the last stop of the touring exhibition which first opened in Milan in January 2017. Each location for the retrospective was chosen because of its personal ties to Blahnik – St Petersburg was selected because he often looks to Russia for inspiration, Prague because the Czech Republic is where his paternal family is from, and Madrid because of his Spanish heritage.
Manolo Blahnik: The Art of Shoes is open now through January 6, 2019, at the Bata Shoe Museum at 327 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON M5S 1W7, Canada.