It was a lovely Monday morning when I was chatting with my good neighbour about our obsessions with 1940-50s fashion. Soon a conversation was brought up about our top favourite designers and Vivienne Westwood was mentioned. It was at that moment she had told me about a Vivienne Westwood Personal Shoe Collection Exhibition running at our local museum. It is known that this person had been collecting Vivienne Westwood pieces for over 15 years, (basically, since I was born…) I literally got so excited about this collection that It would be no surprise to share my experience of viewing such art.
Vivienne Westwood who hails from Derbyshire where I’ve been fortunate enough to live for most of my life is one of the most emblematic, British fashion designers respectively. Well, known for her punk rock movement through her designs since the late 1960s/70s.
This collection sits in Pickford’s House Museum (a middle-class home built in 1770, now a museum) in Derby at 41 Friar Gate, Derby DE1 1DA
Open from 10 am – 5 pm Tuesday to Saturday (Closed Sunday and Monday)
The exhibition is free of charge, however, you can donate any amount by choice to help sustain the museum and future exhibitions.
On a Thursday, last month my mother and I went to visit the museum. I must say, I found the environment exceptionally relaxing and inspiring (for my artistic self, haha) the staff there were so welcoming and overall the environment made the 10 minute trip from our home well worth it.
The shoe exhibition was being held upstairs. At the entrance, we met a nice lady presenting the collection and at first glance, suddenly I was overwhelmed by the most exquisite, detailed, valiant shoes ever! Such a shoe girl’s dream (or at least mine). I was in awe of the quality and condition the collector had kept them all in!
Towards the left side of their entrance was more of some amazing Vivienne Westwood shoes! Including the iconic blue platform-heeled Super Elevated Gillies best known for Naomi Campbell’s famous tumble when she wore them at a catwalk show in 1993. Unfortunately, due to the lighting, the camera wasn’t doing the shoes any justice so I couldn’t capture them :/ But if you do happen to be in Derby I highly recommend visiting Pickford’s House before September 2017 to see them!
This unique collection includes their signature Pirate Boots, HammerHead Shoes, The Red Patent Leather Pumps and Black Spiky Shoes by Malcolm McLaren & Vivienne Westwood.
This dress (above) is by far my favourite piece from the exhibition! The dress is actually made of silk and if you look closely, parts of the dress were dyed in earth toned colours to form a design of the Union Jack. From the curved shapes to how the dress falls is absolutely gorgeous to me.
Personally, I feel like there was no better place to showcase this collection than Pickford’s House Museum. The house is beautiful, the shoes hold character, the two just go hand in hand. The fact that this home is over 200 years old kind of feels like time travelling to me. The minute you walk in is the second you encounter a different world, a different way of living and I find it quite interesting to naturally get to reflect upon this way of life being so young in a world full of evolvement, like seeing eye to eye with history right before me. I loved it.
You can really tell some of the shoes were inspired not only by punk but briefly from the 18th Century all the way back to the Golden Age of Piracy. This is what I have always loved about Vivienne’s work, the way she innovates, mastered and merged her love for the medieval era with her present punk-rock approach still wows me to this day. My absolute favourite collection she’s done would have to be “Queen of Sheba” by Mr Pearl for Vivienne Westwood’s 1995 Vive La Coquette (not a lot of photos from that collection, but absolutely phenomenal nonetheless).
If you’re interested to view more of Vivienne Westwood’s collections, I’d take a look at her website that holds her archive. I often visit her pages not just to gush over her dresses, but to get a bit of artistic inspiration from them. I almost get Alice In Wonderland vibes from her work. Hopefully, you’ll love them as much as I do!
It was so awesome to experience different eras at once with shoes!
I hope this post gives you a glimpse of Vivienne Westwood Inspiration as much as it did for me.
Hope you all have a lovely August!
Lots of love,