This exhibition celebrates the ingenuity and creativity of British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, focusing on her designs of the ultimate fetish object: the shoe.


Following the success of the exhibition premiered in London, Vivienne Westwood hopes to present this unique collection, showcasing over 40 years of design, around the World. This international exhibition, set to preview in both Moscow and Beirut, will then travel back to the UK in June where it will be showcased at one of the most important museums outside London, The Bowes Museum at Barnard Castle.


Visitors have only one month to catch the prestigious exhibition before it then travels to Japan, New York and China.


The exhibition will be displayed in the new, internationally acclaimed Fashion & Textile Gallery in The Bowes Museum, and will showcase around 200 shoe designs and trace the exceptional success of Dame Westwood’s career to date. Illustrating her defiance of the rules of wearability and convention, the exhibition is also evidence of her uncompromising quest for superb craftsmanship and attention to detail.


Westwood’s designs are a result of considered and distinctive influences - 16th Century Dutch Delft pottery as the inspiration for her 1996 Toile Print Boot, British colonialism reflected in the Sahara Plimsoll of 1999, Victorian dandyism influencing the 1996 Trompe l’Oeil Boot and Westwood’s nurse inspired 15.5 centimetre heel Mary Janes of Erotic Zones a salute to S/M and fetishism. Her shoes have also gained a reputation and created memorable fashion moments - the tumbling of Naomi Campbell when wearing the Super Elevated Gillie on the catwalk in 1993, the Rocking Horse which became an instant collectible when it appeared in 1986 and her Pirate Boots, first seen in 1981 but remain popular and in demand to the present day.


Today, Vivienne Westwood’s shoes are celebrated the world over for leading the way in design, creativity and style and have become famous British icons in their own right.


“Shoes must have very high heels and platforms to put women’s beauty on a pedestal” - Vivienne Westwood