Manolo Blahnik to open exhibition at The Wallace Collection

Footwear designer Manolo Blahnik is teaming up with The Wallace Collection to host a new exhibition featuring shoe designs from his private archive amongst the museum’s masterpieces.

The 'An Enquiring Mind: Manolo Blahnik at The Wallace Collection’ will run from June 10 to September 1, and has been co-curated by Blahnik himself alongside Wallace Collection director, Dr Xavier Bray and aims to showcase “an unprecedented exploration” of the footwear designer’s creative process.

Manolo Blahnik to open exhibition at The Wallace Collection

According to the statement, Blahnik has had a long-held fascination with The Wallace Collection and he uses it as a source of inspiration for his designs. The exhibition will showcase Blahnik’s designs alongside the paintings, sculptures and future that has inspired him, leading to a dialogue between the “old and the new, the art and the craft, the real and the fantasy,” added the museum.

Each room will explore a particular theme associated with the designer’s work as a “journey through his imagination,” from the theatre and spectacle of the Commedia dell’arte to the fashions inspired by Blahnik’s native Spain, 18th-century Rococo style, as well as his own interpretation of Englishness.

Manolo Blahnik said in a statement: “The Wallace Collection has been a point of reference for me since my early days in London. It was – and remains – one of my favourite museums with the most refined selection of art. I am incredibly humbled and honoured to be a part of the project and have my work displayed at the museum.”

Manolo Blahnik to open exhibition at The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection to stage Manolo Blahnik exhibition

Shoes that are set to be on display include the candy-coloured shoes designed for Sofia Coppola’s award-winning film, Marie Antoinette, which will be seen alongside Fragonard’s Swing and Boucher’s Mme de Pompadour, and his yellow jewel-encrusted heels will be exhibited next to diamond-mounted gold boxes and delicately painted miniatures of the Wallace Collection’s Boudoir Cabinet.

Dr Xavier Bray, director of The Wallace Collection, added: “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. 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.”

Manolo Blahnik to open exhibition at The Wallace Collection

Alongside the exhibition there will be a series of panel talks exploring the themes which permeate Manolo Blahnik’s designs and the works contained within The Wallace Collection.

‘An Enquiring Mind: Manolo Blahnik at The Wallace Collection' will open on June 10.

Images: courtesy of Manolo Blahnik/The Wallace Collection and the Manolo Blahnik image by Jason Hughes


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