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Louise Loves

A collection of the people, places and things I love.

The Manolo Blahnik Exhibition at The Wallace Collection

Manolo Blahnik’s exhibition at the Wallace Collection runs until September and is a must-visit if you will be in London. The Collection is housed in the elegant 18th century Hertford House, and includes Fragonard, Boucher, Rembrandt and Velasquez paintings, as well as exquisite Boulle furniture and divine decorative cabinets, magnificent chandeliers and wonderful objets of all kinds. The edit of Blahnik shoes selected from Manolo’s own private archive, 160 pairs in all, are displayed in glass bell jars on the magnificent furniture in ten different rooms, each one corresponding to a particular theme in Blahnik’s work and reflecting his incredibly creative and romantic mind.

The display (by Wallace Collection director Xavier Bray) is a triumph. Pink velvet shoes designed for Sofia Coppola’s 2006 film, Marie Antoinette are displayed beside Fragonard’s ‘The Swing’ which would have been painted during the resign of the controversial last Queen of France before the Revolution.

Intricate gilding on a pair of shoes is reflected in the gold details of Boulle’s cabinets. Jewelled shoes in glass vitrines are set beside diamond-mounted gold boxes and delicate miniatures of the Wallace Collection’s Boudoir Cabinet.

I have known Manolo and loved his warmth and humour for many years and admired his creativity and ability to for many more. As he celebrates 50 years of his brand, I couldn’t wish for a more fitting or beautiful tribute to this wonderful man. Exhibition runs until September 1st, at Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN.

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