Set amongst the great artworks at the Wallace Collection is an impressive, personally selected collection from Manolo Blahnik’s archive, presenting an enviable display of shoes. The exhibition An Enquiring Mind: Manolo Blahnik at the Wallace Collection intertwines the elaborate designs of the contemporary footwear with the permanent exhibition of renowned and legendary artists.
The shoes on display fit in perfectly with their surroundings, blending in at times with the art and the intricately decorated rooms as if they are right where they belong. Blahnik’s attention to detail is celebrated by the Wallace Collection, as the carefully curated exhibition is organised thematically, in correspondence with the rooms’ respective aesthetics.
Former editor-in-chief of Vogue encouraged Blahnik to pursue fashion, and more specifically, shoemaking. In 1970, the following year, Manolo Blahnik was established, and the brand has since been propelled to legendary status among shoe designers and the fashion industry at large. The exclusive shoes are often characterised by an embellished buckle but those are not all that are displayed at the Wallace Collection.
The shoes are each incredibly detailed, and their arrangements flow as one would expect any exhibition to do so. Displayed as art, beneath glass enclosures, the value of the shoes in this collection is fully realised. The golds and blacks are complementary to the stark red and white room and stand out brilliantly.
In contrast, a more delicate array of shoes is presented in the Oval drawing-room. Floral details and stripes adorn the luxury footwear, blending into the room overlooking the central courtyard of Hertford House.
In further celebration of Blahnik’s creativity and enduring appeal, a variety of flamboyant shoes are displayed in the Great Gallery of old masters’ paintings, ranging from portraiture, mythological depictions, and hunting scenes. This ostentatious display is emphasised by the shoes, which contrast with each other, showing an eclectic mix of styles.
The Wallace Collection
While the extensive collection of Manolo Blahnik shoes on display is remarkable, the permanent exhibition at the Wallace Collection boasts centuries of famed and distinguished artists’ works. Featuring works by Delacroix, Fragonard, Rembrandt, Rubens, Titian, Van Dyck and more, the paintings lining the walls of Hertford House are exquisite.
All items in the Wallace Collection are exclusively held permanently in Hertford House, the former townhouse of the Seymour family, making the priceless paintings all the more sought after, as they may only be viewed at the Wallace Collection.
An Enquiring Mind: Manolo Blahnik at the Wallace Collection is exhibited until 1st September 2019 and admission is free.
Hertford House is located on Manchester Square in Marylebone and houses the Wallace Collection. We offer a number of properties for sale or to let in the surrounding area: