It’s well known that women have a natural obsession with shoes, and that the higher they are, the more attractive we tend to feel; but what about the inevitable pain that almost always accompanies wearing these sky-high statement heels? Why is it that, throughout history, we seem to keep happily tolerating the physical agony in exchange for the feeling of sexiness, glamour and even power that heels provide? And most importantly, is visual pleasure all that they represent? Victoria and Albert Museum‘s critically-acclaimed exhibition, Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, set to arrive in Hong Kong this month, might just have the answer.
Reaching the final stop of its Asia Debut Tour, the highly anticipated, world-class exhibition will be opening at Pacific Place from 28 September for a one-month showcase. From Egyptian sandals with pure gold leaf details that date as far back as the 1st century B.C. to the most elaborate designs by contemporary makers from the likes of Salvatore Ferragamo, Alexander McQueen and Zaha Hadid — the exhibition will bring together over 140 pairs of shoes from across the globe, demonstrating the different roles played by shoes across various cultures, occasions and histories.
Helen Persson, curator of Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, said: “The exhibition demonstrates the transformative power of footwear; and how, more than any other aspect of dress, it has been used to express personality and capture identity. I believe this is a unique opportunity for an audience to garner profound appreciations for art, fashion and footwear design.”
The exhibition, which is co-curated by Swire Properties, comprises five different sections: Transformation, Status, Seduction, Creation and Obsession. The Transformation section, for example, features a dazzling display of Cinderella slippers (created by Swarovski for the 2015 Disney movie) and David Beckham’s ‘Brooklyn’ football boots, and aims to explore how shoes can empower and transform our self-identities. The Status section examines how certain types of footwear (think iconic designs by Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, etc.) have become an indication of the social status of the wearer — ultimately dictating how the wearer moves, and is seen and heard by others.
As a special exclusive for the region, the Asia tour also features 14 pairs of shoes from Hong Kong actress and singer Karen Mok’s personal collection, each representing a different significant milestone in her life and career. What’s more? To further engage with its customers, Pacific Place will be hosting a series of exciting activities — from in-store shopping privileges and services to guided tours, workshops and more — alongside the exhibition, aiming to bring together unique encounters of fashion, art and culture all in one place.
Pacific Place, Garden Court, LG1, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong, +852 2844 8988