Manolo Blahnik, his lilac suit and rose-pink velvet slippers a personal artistic installation, sat on a purple velvet sofa at London’s Wallace Collection.https://www.instagram.com/p/ByheeVWH_dG/?utm_source=ig_embedI almost expected to see that pink satin shoe, kicked from the swing towards a lustful lover in the infamous Fragonard painting. After all, that image hung on the outside of the historic London museum with the words: An Enquiring Mind: Manolo Blahnik at The Wallace Collection (10 June to 1 September).https://www.instagram.com/p/Byhf4hrH1le/?utm_source=ig_embedThat particular art work ‘The Swing’ from 1767 – so tiny compared to expectations – appeared in an upstairs room of the museum, seen after I had been shown the grand red staircase and began to understand the artistic concept of director and co-curator Dr Xavier Bray.
“When I prepared for Mr Blahnik’s visit, I went around and looked at every single shoe in the paintings and suddenly wondered why I had not engaged with what they were wearing in terms of shoes,” the co-curator said. “You’ve got Madame de Pompadour wearing the most wonderful silk satin shoes – but in a way that was too easy. What was more interesting was how Mr Blahnik looked at it.”