The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute has a vast collection of costumes. Since it is not possible for many of us to visit the museum to appreciate the history and evolution of costumes they have selected the best in their collection and published it in the form of a book for a wider audience. The first such book was 100 Dresses that represented the best in their collection of over 35,000 costumes and accessories and was published in November 2010. Encouraged by its success they have compiled the best from a collection of 2,500 shoes and have released 100 Shoes.
Sarah Jessica Parker presents the book with her introduction. The book features a wide range of shoes right from a pair of 16th century, silk Italian platforms to Christian Louboutin’s strappy, studded platforms designed for Rodarte in 2008. Manolo Blahnik who has several pairs of remarkable numbers included in the book feels that he is able to create the best shoes when he is free from commercial constraints. Selling those shoes are not the priority but are designed to satisfy the creative craving.
The book 100 Shoes provides a short and stylish history lesson in the evolution of shoes. The oldest shoe in the collection is an ankle boot of 1825-30 vintage. Another unique pair is the Victor Platform Sandals launched in 1940. The Alberto Dal Co’ Shoes made in 1958 are definitely different and feminine. Beth Levine Mule is as unusual for its heel now as it was when launched in 1962. Manolo Blahnik by Damian Hirst made in 2002 represents the modern design. Yves Saint Laurent Shoe is a 2004 design and quite innovative to say the least.