As shoe lovers know, there are some pairs you don for the daily grind, some you slip into for these particular nights out, and treasured few which can be relegated to being collectorsitems—so valued there are closets and even museums devoted solely to them. The Museo Salvatore Ferragamo in Florence is one such mecca for the shoe fiend, documenting the illustrious profession of the famed shoemaker. Its current exhibition, The Wonderful Shoemaker: Fairy Tales and Legends about Footwear and Shoemakers, is on display until March 31, 2014 and celebrates vogue, fantasy, and our enduring fascination with footwear.
The fairy tale tie-in is fitting for Ferragamo—the designer moved to California within the early 1920s, and started to design and make sneakers for cinema. In 1923, he opened the Hollywood Boot Shop, and shortly became the “shoemaker to the stars many of whom performed out these tales of folklore on the massive display.
A few of Ferragamo’s most playful and modern footwear, including a few from those early Hollywood days, can be found on the market. A selection of his iconic designs have been updated and reissued in restricted numbers as part of Ferragamo’s Creations assortment, which is touring round choose boutiques to coincide with the exhibition in Florence.
Salvatore Ferragamo’s Invisible sandal.
Of notice is the Rainbow wedge shoe, created in 1938 for actress Judy Garland, who starred as Dorothy in the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz. Ferragamo dressed the diminutive actress on this towering shoe, and became extensively credited as the inventor of the platform. In Oz, Dorothy’s magical ruby slippers are amongst the most famous of film memorabilia, and there’s loads of sparkle out there in the collection too. Ferragamo’s sparkling crimson heels had been favoured by one other iconic Hollywood star, Marilyn Monroe, who also wore the kinds in black and silver, out there in the collection too. Cinderella’s glass slipper could properly be one of the most storied shoes of fairy tale lore; Ferragamo’s personal Invisible sandal, made with clear woven nylon to expose the naked foot, can also be out there, in addition to designs worn by the likes of movie darling Audrey Hepburn.
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