DATE: 13 July 2018 – 28 April 2019

TIME: During Museum opening hours

COST: Usual Museum admission


A Personal Collection of Vivienne Westwood Shoes is a touring exhibition, and it has landed in York! The pioneering fashion designer is showcasing a display of her pieces at York Castle Museum, and has even chosen a selection of historic shoes from the Museum’s own collection to showcase alongside her own.

The private collection showcases Vivienne Westwood’s iconic footwear through the years. This includes the Seditionaries boot from the punk era of the 1970’s, which Vivienne first created for her boutique at 430 Kings Road London, now called Worlds End, where they are still available today..

The exhibition also explores Westwood’s more avant-garde collections shown on the runways in Paris, such as the infamous Super-elevated Gillie’s of the 1990s, the same design which Naomi Campbell famously fell from in Westwood’s Gold Label  Autumn-Winter1993 show titled – Anglomania. These iconic styles will be shown alongside the more recent Vivienne Westwood footwear collections, showcasing Westwood’s continued unparalleled approach to footwear and her defiance of the rules of wearability and convention.

To complement A Personal Collection of Vivienne Westwood Shoes, Dame Vivienne Westwood has selected shoes from York Castle Museum’s historic collections. The selection, ranging from the 18th century to the present day, includes a pair of hand-made Georgian satin shoes that are nearly three hundred years old, Edwardian boots designed by François Pinet, one of the most coveted shoemakers of his day and a pair of Christian Dior court shoes designed by Roger Vivier, the creator of the stiletto heel. This long view of shoe design will show the rich history and tradition on which Westwood continues to draw.

Emma Hamlett, senior curator, said: “Vivienne Westwood is a pioneering British fashion designer and her shoes are show-stopping in their design and craftsmanship.

“We are thrilled to be able to bring this collection of Vivienne Westwood shoes to York, on loan from The Civic, Barnsley, which includes some of the most iconic footwear ever created….”

To compare and contrast these historic shoes with modern day shoes is an exciting way to highlight the journey of shoe design; how it has progressed and how the full range of historic influences can be seen in the fashions of today.”

A Personal Collection of Vivienne Westwood Shoes will run from 13 July 2018 – 28 April 2019 with a programme of events exploring the exhibition taking place at York Castle Museum. Please visit the website for more details.