You might have heard American Psycho singing the song “You are what you wear” with the words “But let’s be clear // There’s nothing ironic // About our love of
Manolo Blahnik. // No, there’s nothing // Remotely ironic // About our love of
Manolo Blahnik”. What we want to tell you right now is that Manolo Blahnik, a Spanish shoes designer, opened his exhibition at… the Hermitage museum.
OK, we suggest you ask what one of the biggest home to the classic art with numerous paintings from da Vinci, Michelangelo, van Gogh, Rubens etc., has to do with, yes, world famous but anyway a shoes designer? Well, the Hermitage has been going towards the contemporary art for a long time with such installations as “The Knight of Despair / Warrior of Beauty exhibition” by Jan Fabre from Belgium and many others in portfolio. Blahnik’s «Shoes As Art» is absolutely in line with the late policy of the museum, and why shoes cannot be a subject of art?
The exposition consists of six sections: The Nature, Gala, The Art and Architecture, The Heart, The Geography, The Materials. They all reflect the retrospective of the designer’s work over last 45 years. It makes it possible to see not only the artist’s style changing over the course of the time, but also the changes in society’s tastes and fashion.
Totally, more than 200 shoes and 30 sketches are exhibited at the Hermitage. Interestingly, that sketches are subjects of art in their full right serving not as draft of shoes to be designed and produced but as their “portraits” – the sketches of the shoes were drawn after the shoes had been completed, not before.
Interestingly that Blahnik said at the opening ceremony that “an exhibition at the Hermitage is my dream, that’s something for me to remember forever”. In his words, his work was being inspired by Catherine the Great, poet Alexander Pushkin and Russian ballet. Not surprisingly, he is at the Hermitage.
Exhibition: Manolo Blahnik. Shoes As Art
Museum: The State Hermitage museum, General Staff (the building opposite the Winter Palace which is pictured on all postcards).
Date: till 23 July 2017
That song by American Psycho with Blahnik mentioned along with many other famous designers.