‘An Enquiring Mind: Manolo Blahnik at the Wallace Collection’ has now opened in London, displaying the most famous shoes from the legendary footwear designer’s archive, set amongst the world-renowned paintings and objects of the collection’s 18th century rooms. The new exhibition, co-curated by Manolo Blahnikand Wallace Collection Director Dr Xavier Bray, has been designed by award-winning designers and cultural collaborators, Nissen Richards Studio. Highlighting the common aesthetic territory between the collection’s baroque masterpieces and Blahnik’s own decadent craftsmanship, the exhibition aims to create a dialogue between art and craft.
Collection of Artistic Excellence
An internationally outstanding collection of artistic excellence spanning over 800 years, the Wallace Collectionhas long been a source of creative inspiration to Manolo Blahnik, who has established himself as one of the world’s foremost shoe designers, thanks to his constant intellectual search for the new and the beautiful in art and life, literature and film, in the past and the present. With an artist’s eye for visual detail, Manolo Blahnikhas drawn inspiration over many years from the Wallace Collection’s paintings, furniture, porcelain, sculpture and works of art.
“The Wallace Collection has been a point of reference for me since my early days in London. It was – and remains – one of my favourite museums with the most refined selection of art. I am incredibly humbled and honoured to be part of the project and have my work displayed at the museum”, Manolo Blahnik said.
The Wallace Collection
Following its successful collaboration with the Wallace Collection on the recent Henry Moore exhibit, The Helmet Heads, which told the story of another luminary inspired by objects within the famous galleries, Nissen Richards Studiowas invited to work with the co-curators to place, contextualise and display over 120 of Manolo Blahnik’s shoe designs (some individual and some pairs) within ten first floor rooms of the two-story collection, which is located in Hertford House on London’s Manchester Square. The commission also included the creation of graphic collateral, such as the brochure given to all visitors on arrival and the large-scale ground floor introductory panel, placed directly opposite a wall showing a dozen of Manolo Blahnik’s famously-accomplished and exuberant sketch designs.