Kinky Slinky Boots

Yesterday was a day all about boots (and shoes) of one sort or another.  Daughter 2 and I spent the morning at the V&A museum  looking at their latest fashion exhibition  “Shoes, pleasure and pain”.  The V&A had one of the largest collections of shoes in the world and this exhibition looks at some of the more extreme ideas for footwear from around the globe; some of the shoes date from ancient Egypt while others are by contemporary designers.  Sadly no photography was allowed in the exhibition, but more about it can be found here www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/shoes-pleasure-and-pain/about-the-exhibition.

exhibition

entry to “Shoes – pleasure and pain”  at the V&A

We arrived reasonably early which was a bonus as it meant we got a great view of the showcases.  The exhibition opens with a case full of shoes relating to folklore or fairy tales – Dorothy’s shoes from the Wizard of Oz, the Red Shoes (ballet), a beautiful Swarovski Crystal shoe from the recent film Cinderella.  As you move around the exhibition there is a feast for the lover of footwear – fetish shoes from the collection of Vivienne Westwood, shoes that literally raise the wearers status such as the Two-Teethed Geta Shoe from Japan c1920, which is basically a sort of flip-flop with two pieces of wood attached to the undersole  to make the wearer taller.  These were also a luxury shoe worn by people of high status, those who did not need to work or move about much.  These shoes, like the shoes by the designer Christian Louboutin showed that the wearer is part of a very select circle.  One of the most interesting cabinets contains shoes which are all about technology of some sort, whether it is a shoe designed to improve performance in sport, or my own favourite, a shoe created from a 2D drawing and printed on a 3D printer to create a perfectly wearable piece of footwear.   Shoes are highly sought after collectables as well as being a functional item of everyday clothing.  Many people both men and women covet shoes from the best designers, others, like me, like a particular type of shoe; I like Brogues and have several pairs in different styles and colours – I am keen to get my hands (feet) on a pair in patent leather scarlet red and white.  This is a great fun exhibition and one that shows that shoes really do “maketh the man“.

poster

Poster in the tunnel link between South Kensington tube and the V&A museum

Shoes, Pleasure and Pain is on at the V&A, London until 31 January 2016

After a brief interlude in the highly decorative cafe at the V&A, daughter 2 and I made our way over to the Strand and the Adelphi Theatre to catch the matinee performance of a new musical, “Kinky Boots”.

theatre

This new show is a musical with songs written by the brilliant Cyndi Lauper and is also brilliantly acted by its cast, the two lead roles of Charlie and Lola being played by Killian Donnelly and Matt Henry.  It is the Matt’s performance that really stands out, he has a fantastic singing voice and for virtually the entire show is wearing astronomically high heeled boots or shoes in which he successfully dances and leaps around the stage without faltering.  Matt also makes a great woman!

multi posters

If you are not aware of the story, the musical (and the film from 2005) is based on a true story about a small family shoe making business from Northampton (in reality a small Northamptonshire village factory making traditional mens footwear) which turns to making fetish footwear (in reality now manufacturing under the Devine label) in order to save the factory from closing down.  Charlie, the son of the late owner meets Lola (a drag queen) while on a business trip to sell excess stock of the company’s shoes and it is when the heel on Lola’s boot breaks that Charlie has the idea of making shoes for this unique niche market.  The choreography is outstanding and all the performers turn out a first rate show, one really worth seeing.  If you can’t get to town to see the stage show, the film from 2005, starring Joel Edgerton as Charlie and Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) as Charlie and Lola is available on DVD or on Netflix.

poster 1

Kinky Boots is at the Adelphi Theatre on The Strand, London

https://www.kinkybootsthemusical.co.uk

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About paisleypedlar

Artist, Sewist, sometime Cyclist and Arm Chair Activist
This entry was posted in costume, Expeditions and adventures, Fashion, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Kinky Slinky Boots

  1. Love the shoe themed visit! I saw Kinky Boots, the film, last year. It is brilliant, I would recommend it. I’d love to see the musical, thanks for sharing.

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