Yes, fellow footwear travelers, there is a quirky but scholarly shoe museum in North America.(Ferragamo has one in Italy, but that’s a longer schlepp.} Meet the Bada Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada. And yes, it does look like a deconstructed shoe box. Roger Vivier, Process to Perfection, May 9, 2012–April 7, 2013.
“To wear dreams on one’s feet is to begin to give a reality to one’s dreams.” -Roger Vivier
Bottine by Roger Vivier for Christian Dior, French, 1961.
Blue silk satin, blue cotton lace, glass beads, sequins, leather. Gift of Valerian Stux-Rybar, 1980
One of the most famous of Vivier’s designs is an evening bottine from 1961. It was a confection of lace embellished with beads, sequins, couched silk ribbon and silver embroidery balanced on a thin needle heel of moderate height. A series of drawings in the Bata Shoe Museum collection shows that Vivier returned to this design again in 1963 although it doesn’t appear to have gone back into production.
Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Photo credit: Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY
Roger Vivier for German tannery Heyl-Libenau, French, 1934. Dyed and printed leather, rhinestone, metal.
This sample shoe was designed by Roger Vivier for the German tannery Heyl-Libenau in the 1934 and offers insight into the designer’s earliest work. A recent discovery by Chief Curator Rosita Nenno of the Deutsches Ledermuseum of a number of Vivier’s early shoes demonstrate his inventive use of texture and pattern as well as colour. Vivier’s lifelong affinity for asymmetry is also evident in these early prototypes.
Collection of DLM Deutsches Ledermuseum Schuhmuseum Offenbach, T 1685.
Photo credit: Copyright: DLM Deutsches Ledermuseum Offenbach. Corinna Perl-Appl
Gold velvet shoe with elaborately embellished high tongue designed by Roger Vivier, French, 1964.
One theme that Vivier returned to again and again over the course of his career was the elongated tongue. This style adorned low-heeled shoes as well as high-heeled shoes as seen in the drawings displayed here. Frequently these evening shoes were made of velvet and the tongues were typically embellished with heavy beading. This single gold mule must have been one of Vivier’s favourite shoes as he was frequently photographed with it and he kept it in his own personal collection until the 1980s.
Collection of Roger Vivier, Paris
Photo credit: Image copyright © 2012 Roger Vivier, Paris (Photo: Aguttes/Aubert)