Monday, 13 June 2016

'Shoes Pleasure and Pain' at the Bowes Museum, opening evening...

Hello lovely people!

After months of anticipation and excitement, 'Shoes: Pleasure and Pain' finally opened at The Bowes Museum this weekend.  After seeing the exhibition at the V & A, I've been so excited to see it at my beloved Bowes, and I was kindly invited along to the launch evening on Friday.  Like a modern day Cinderella, I normally work Friday evenings but alas minus the pumpkin and the Prince, I did go to the ball, there was no way I was going to miss it!

My date for the evening was my gorgeous niece Rachel, a fellow shoe lover and budding historian; I knew the exhibition would be right up her street!

On arrival, we were greeted by the lovely Rosie, who ticked us off the guest list and pointed us in the direction of the soiree.  Drinks soon in hands, it was lovely to see everyone mingling and the excitement in the air was tangible (there were also some really great shoes worn by the guests-a special nod to Rosie again for her amazing Irregular Choice shoes-gorgeous!).

 The lovely Rachel enjoying the evening!
A #shoefie seemed appropriate-I wore my favourite Valentino dupes!

After an introduction to the evening, we were treated to a short speech from exhibition curator Helen Persson (who also had amazing blue rhinestone-encrusted shoes!).  Helen confessed that she became a shoe addict and heel lover after the five years she spent travelling the world to put the exhibition together.  She also recognised what a wonderful venue the Bowes Museum is, dubbing it 'the V & A of the North', the perfect place in my view to house such an amazing collection!

 Helen Persson exhibition curator, talks about shoes.

Then it was time for the big reveal, I couldn't wait to see it.  Greeted with an enormous neon sign, we followed the red carpet inside to the exhibition.

I'm invited back to review it this coming Sunday (no photography is allowed but I have some wonderful press shots that I can't wait to share with you!) so I'm going to dedicate a separate post to it, but what I will say is this-it's absolutely unbelievable!  I really enjoyed the exhibition in London, but there's just something about The Bowes Museum that makes it even more special.  You can see from the photo above that there are hundreds of red shoe laces hanging from the ceiling; a brilliant touch I felt making it feel even more intimate and cosy.  The way you follow the shoes around the room too is also pretty spectacular!  I think my favourite shoe was the Cinderella glass slipper from the recent Disney movie, but there are also a pair of pink sparkly Roger Vivier for Christian Dior shoes that I absolutely adore, although that could all change when I see it again this weekend!

We concluded our evening with some wonderful food, giving us time to reflect on the collection.  I also finally got to meet the very lovely Sheila Dixon in person, who gave me an insight on how the exhibition was put together and how she'd panicked over whether it would be installed in time for the opening.  You needn't have worried Sheila-I think its truly breathtaking!

No visit to the museum is complete without stopping off at the gift shop-where I operated with restraint and managed to leave with just a fun shoe notebook and some pretty postcards.  I'm not promising I'll behave as well on Sunday though!

 The gift shop with red shoe laces in full effect!

If you haven't booked your tickets yet, please do.  'Shoes: Pleasure and Pain' is an absolutely wonderful collection not to be missed, especially if you're shoe lover or fashion enthusiast like me!

Thanks to the staff at the Bowes Museum for inviting me along to preview the exhibition and for being so complimentary about my blog!  We had a wonderful evening! Special thanks to Sheila Dixon for inviting me back once again to review the collection fully-watch this space for my review!  'Shoes: Pleasure and Pain' runs until October 9th and tickets can be bought here.  


PS-If you're keen to learn more about The Bowes Museum, you can read my previous post here all about why I fell in love with this wonderful place-I hope you enjoy it!


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