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Manolo Blahnik: The Art of Shoes

Shoes of unique shapes, made from exquisite materials and decorated with jewels will be presented at the Hermitage 24.04 – 23.07.2017.

This exhibition devoted to the oeuvre of the Spanish footwear designer is a retrospective of the original arts and 214 shoes created by Manolo Blahnik over a period of 45 years.

The display is made up of six thematic sections: Nature, Gala, Art and Architecture, Heart, Geography and Materials.

The most impressive and precious items revealing Blahnik’s boundless imagination are exhibited in the section “Gala”, that contains shoes created for Sofia Coppola’s film Marie Antoinette – shoes with unique shapes, made from exquisite materials, including some decorated with jewels. Behind each shoe in the “Heart” section there are particular images, recollections and personalities who are important to the designer – Anna Piaggi, Rihanna, Cecil Beaton, Brigitte Bardot, Alexander the Great.

The sections “Materials”, “Nature” and “Geographical Influences” underline the designer’s love to the exquisite fabrics, the world of flora and travels. In his works he uses satin, tafetta, velveteen, tweed, cashmere, hand-made lace, wool, linen, cotton, silk brocade and Ottoman silks. The shoes are decorated with images of flowers, strawberries, palm-leaves, animals, sea, corals and cliffs, so admired by the artist. The models also feature footwear inspired by Blahnik’s travels around the world and his impressions of Britain, Italy, Japan, Africa, Spain and Russia.

The section “Architecture and Art” contains shoes the inspiration for which came from asrchitectural monuments, literature, the cinema or paintings by Francisco de Zurbaran and Francisco de Goya, Pablo Picassso, Henri Matisse, Mark Rothko and Piet Mondrian, sculptures by Alexander Calder, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.