Vivienne Westwood Shoes: A World Wide Exhibition
10 June – 10 July 2011
'Shoes must have very high heels and platforms to put women's beauty on a pedestal,' said Vivienne Westwood of her own designs.
Now the shoes themselves get the pedestal treatment, and visitors to the Bowes museum can witness some of the most consistently coveted objects that the fickle world of fashion has produced in living memory.Westwood made her name bringing fringe movements such as punk into the mainstream, and her footware, from the Toile Print Boot (inspired by 16th-century Dutch Delft) to the Sahara Plimsoll, is fascinatingly eclectic.Visitors have only one month to catch the prestigious exhibition before it then travels to Japan, New York and China.
Not many shoes prompt millions of hits on YouTube, dedicated segments on Letterman and a place in fashion folklore, but Westwood's Super Elevated Gillie, in which supermodel Naomi Campbell took a famous tumble on the catwalk in Paris in 1993 is an enduring, iconic design.Another evergreen model is the Pirate Boot; championed by Kate Moss among many others, they are just as popular today as they were when they hit the market in 1981.