10 June - 1 September 2019
A beautiful silk slipper flying off the toes of a swinging lady, all frothy petticoats and flirtation. What better setting could there be for Manolo Blahnik’s extraordinary shoes? This June, a new exhibition opens at the Wallace Collection contrasting Rococo paintings, classical sculpture and ornate furniture with Manolo Blahnik’s designs and leading to a dialogue between old and new, art and craft, real and fantasy. Entitled An Enquiring Mind, the small and intimate show has been co-curated by Blahnik himself, and it takes visitors on a trip into his imagination from the spectacle of the Commedia dell’arte, to the influences of the fashions of his native Spain to 18th-century Rococo style and his interpretation of Englishness. On display here are the candy-pink shoes designed for Sofia Coppola’s award-winning film, Marie Antoinette as well as contemporary shoes interspersed with works of art.
The exhibition is free and open every day 10am-5pm. There’s an exciting program of talks running alongside, tickets cost £20 and include after-hours access to the exhibitions from 5.30pm, with talks 7-8pm:
Monday 8 July – Fashion or Art?
Yuriko Jackall, curator of French paintings at the Wallace Collection will lead a panel of diverse practitioners and thinkers from both worlds: illustrator Julie Verhoeven, fashion designer Grace Wales Bonner and writer and curator Lou Stoppard.
Tuesday 9 July – Fashion and Power
Wednesday 10 July – The Collector
Speakers include leading milliner, Stephen Jones OBE; fashion journalist and critic, Alexander Fury; Frieze Director, Victoria Siddall; art dealer, curator and founder of Soft Opening, Antonia Marsh and will be moderated by Ada de Wit from the Wallace Collection discussing their experience, observations, motives and collecting obsessions.
Monday 15 July – The Interior World
Dr Helen Jacobsen will be joined by Manolo Blahnik CEO, architect and designer, Kristina Blahník, who brings her unique insight on architecture and interiors from store design to exhibitions; Brand Content Director of Wallpaper* Magazine, Tony Chambers; interior designer Sophie Ashby; and editor of Luncheon Magazine, Frances von Hofmannsthal, looking at interiors from the 19th century to present day.