In June this year I was staying with my Aunt and Uncle in a small village near to Northampton and one afternoon my Aunt and Uncle said that they would take me to visit a Shoe Museum in Northampton. They explained that Northamptonshire is world re-knowned for it's shoe makers and had made the county famous across the world as the place to buy shoes.
It was a Thursday afternoon when my Uncle drove us to the museum and as we pulled up outside I was pleasantly surprised not to see a small old fashioned workshop displaying a small selection of shoes, but to see an impressive modern art museum with huge shoes hanging on the outside wall of the building. When I walked in I was excited to see that the shoe displays had so much diversity. The ground floor displayed some of the museum’s 12,000 shoes, spanning the period from the Ancient Egyptians to the present day and included novelties from films and artists. There are also two galleries dedicated to footwear: Life & Sole focused on the history of shoe making and contains a re-creation of an old shoe factory; Followers of Fashion concentrates on the history of fashions in footwear throughout the centuries and includes designs from the likes of Salvatore Ferragamo, Manolo Blahnik and Vivienne Westwood. This museum in fact has the largest collection of historical footwear in the world. Whilst looking around I got talking to one of the Museum staff about my love of shoes and about my designs and she suggested that I contact the Museum Shoe Curator regarding the possibility of having some of my shoes on exhibit.
At the end of September I decided to contact the Museum, as in my mind the reason I was there in the first place, although under very sad circumstances, was because of my Dad. During June this year my Dad was taken into intensive care in Warwickshire hospital. As I live in West London, I was staying at my aunts in Northhampton so that I could be nearer to him and visit him everyday and it was during that very sad period I took my first visit to the Museum.
The response that I received from the museum was amazing and the Shoe Curator Rebecca could not have been more helpful. The design that I sent into the Museum was my Chocoholic shoes. My shoes had to be approved at two separate exhibition meetings and I just hoped that my shoes were going to be good enough to be displayed in such a a prestigious establishment.
On Monday 31st October I received the fantastic news that the Museum thought that my shoes were ‘Wonderful’ and that they would appeal to their visitors. They were going to make them ‘Shoe of The Month’ for January 2017 and display them in their lounge during December. The funny thing was that I had already arranged to go to Warwickshire (which is fairly near to Northmapton) that very weekend. You see whilst in intensive care, on July 3rd my dad very sadly and unexpectedly passed away and I was going to be back in the area on November 5th to take his ashes to be part of one of the biggest firework displays in Warwickshire - Kenilworth Castle. So on the morning of November 5th, I took my Chocoholic Shoes to the Museum with my dad in tow in my handbag. That night whilst watching the fireworks thoughts were with my Dad who was a real chocolate lover……….. I truly believe the events of this were meant to be and that dad definitely had a hand in my Shoes being exhibited in the museum. Thanks Dad xx
My Chocoholic Shoes are on display at Northampton Shoe Museum in the lounge during December 2016 and Shoe of the Month for January 2017.