Monday, 22 July 2019

Manolo Blahnik's An Enquiring Mind

Manolo Blahnik an enquiring mind exhibition london


Manolo Blahnik, iconic designer of contemporary luxury shoes will soon celebrate his label’s 50th anniversary. Therefore, he’s exhibiting his collection for the very first time at the Wallace Collection in Marylebone under the title “An Enquiring Mind”.


“An Enquiring Mind” showcases over 160 exquisite designs from Blahnik’s personal archive alongside 12 sketches. The designer who is mostly influenced and inspired by 18th-century French couture and Fragonard presents his shoe designs in juxtaposition to the art galleries treasures. You’ll see kitten-heeled mules, killer heeled ankle boots and some extravagant boots curated under glass vitrines amongst the many art treasures of the museum. 

However, all designs are magnificently delicate and elaborately embellished to underline the creativity of their master. Highlights include an intricate yellow pair of extraordinary heels in the Large Drawing Room to resemble the longings for classical, noble ideals of the Antiquity as well as black laced ankle boots to reflect the drama and excitement of the baroque era. More exhibits commemorate Marie Antoinette and celebrate the shoe as a delicate fashion item with subtle florals, sparkling gemstones or cute bow elements.


The fashion exhibition runs all summer until 1st September.

18th century inspired mule designed by manolo blahnik
Manolo Blahnik black lace up boot exhibition


The Wallace Collection in Manchester Square, Marylebone. The townhouse turned museum is home to fine furniture and historic art collected by Sir Richard Wallace and has kindly been made a permanently accessible collection for the general public. 

The house is full of Dutch, Flemish and Italian baroque treasures including paintings, furniture and boasts with a lot of history to represent the high status and wealth of its original owner. “An Enquiring Mind” can be found on the first floor. The nearest tube station is Bond Street, and then it’s an 8-minute walk northbound.


Blahnik has always been an admirer of the Wallace Collection and since his design studio is around the corner, the opportunity arose to have some of his designs showcased at the museum. The Wallace Collection is still a hidden gem to London so this collaboration will not only put some focus onto the Hertford House but also highlight the relationship of his admirer Blahnik and his love for elaborate baroque art.

manolo blahnik luxury shoes on display
Manolo Blahnik exhibition at Wallace Collection London

Would I Recommend The Manolo Blahnik Exhibition?

The Wallace Collection itself is quite a stunning place stuffed from floor to ceiling with exceptional paintings, baroque furniture, and fine art. The Blahnik exhibits are curated in juxtaposition to each room and its story, however, if you're not familiar with the townhouse itself the connection between Blahnik and its exhibits can get lost. 

The shoes are displayed in glass cabinets and do not have any other labels with further information. Therefore, I would say if you want to learn more about the pieces, pick up a free leaflet right by the entrance which contains more information on each room and shoe. 

Other than that, the shoes are well crafted and as I'm into the baroque style, I was fine appreciating the sheer delicacy and craftsmanship that went into making those. The overall experience will last maybe an hour, so this is a nice little lunch break adventure or afternoon filler when you're in the area.

Thanks for reading, 

Till next time, 

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