Tuesday, January 28, 2020

MAD, Une Histoire de la Chaussure, The Red Shoes (1948)

Sometimes, by chance, a glimpse of an image opens a door to your childhood dreams. The current exhibit of shoes through history at MAD (musee des Arts Decoratif) on rue de Rivoli ends with a short video compilation of shoes in commercials and film.
The snippet of the dance sequence from the 1948 film, THE RED SHOES was the catalyst. So many little girls were deeply effected. Were you a fan? My plan was to become a ballet choreographer, costume designer and principle dancer all in one ;)) I've been painting red shoes all week.
One of my multiple careers was a shoe designer in Italy and Spain for an American company you never heard of.I fell into it (like so many of my professions) after working in fashion on 7th Avenue. Shoes are much more fun to design. You hold them in your hand like small sculptures. If you haven't designed shoes in the past you'll still enjoy the exhibit at MAD enormously.
It covers the historical evolution and political statements of design right up to today's obsession with running shoes.
Even showing you how shoes transform from wooden last to stitched finish.
Terrific graphic samples of posters selling shoes combine with the various styles.  
And Charlie Chaplin's old beat-up shoe from The Little Tramp
Plus a good mix of shoes in art like Delacroix's perfect painting of Moroccan embroidered babouches.
My red shoes obsession continues.
Unwearable shoes as real sculptures in strange shapes and materials. The MAD shoe exhibit is on till 22 March. If you'd like to obsess over The Red Shoes here are some lovely links:

31 comments:

  1. What a wonderful exhibit. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Delighted Jen
      I've been meaning to go since it opened in November.
      I'm so glad I didnt miss it !

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  2. Sounds like a perfect show for you! I love your Gypsy Shoes in the other post! There was a morceau of The Red Shoes shown in the film, Le Divorce. Also a ballet lesson scene as the girl/daughter was in a Parisian ballet class...

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    1. It doesn't take much. Such a memorable film.
      A 'snippet, a 'morceau'

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  3. The Decorative Arts Museum on rue de Rivoli never disappointes. It is small, but their exhibits are always some of the best. I wish I could visit thiss one!!! Thanks for sharing. Love your painting!

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    1. It is the perfect show. Funny I always feel its a rather big museum. Their exhibits have a lot of depth and there are 2 wings, several floors. But next to the Louvre its tiny πŸ˜„

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  4. Thank you so much!
    I love your post...I wish I could see that exhibit-I’m obsessed with shoes too. I was professional dancer in my previous (younger!) life.

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  5. M.Russell4:15 AM

    I’ve seen The Red Shoes so many times, I think I could do the choreography.

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  6. I love ballet shoes especially! As a newlywed many years ago, I took a beginning ballet class for adults. I felt a little like a clodhopper but it was fun. Do you know of Ruby Silvious (I follow her on instragram.) She paints on tea bags and other odd scraps. She has an exhibit - The Art of Ruby Silvious that opened 3 days ago at the Albany Institute of History & Art. She has an exhibit of paper shoes she painted and crafted.

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    1. Thanks for the heads up Marcia
      I will look her up toute suite

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  7. Don't think I am familiar with it but the first shoes I bought myself when I got a job in high school were red and shiny from Brown's I loved them so much.
    Ballet was my first love:) But when we moved..I left the Mary Beetles School of dance at 10 and my career was over;);)
    Love all the ballet aquarelles on IG too.

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  8. Anonymous10:49 AM

    Great post -- looks like a wonderful exhibition. If you are ever in Toronto, I highly recommend the Bata Shoe Museum -- shoes through the ages, first shoes, shoes and social movements, weird shoes..... http://batashoemuseum.ca/
    Joel Todd

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    1. Thank you Joel,
      As a former shoe designer I still love to look...

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  9. I am always deeply affected by your art!

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    1. Thank you Julie

      What a nice thing to say ❤️❤️❤️

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  10. Looks like a fun exhibit & shoes are fascinating. Red shoes always feel glamourous & exciting. Thanks, Carol, for taking us to this one.

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    1. Happy to be your guide Suki,
      Paris has almost too many exhibits. I missed a lot with the holidays and the strike 😳

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  11. Cheryl1:35 PM

    Thanks so much for being my “eyes on the street” in Paris, this exhibit looks fabulous!!
    Next time you’re in Florence, Italy imagine you would enjoy the Ferragamo museum, close by their store.

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    1. Oh I would Cheryl,
      Fashion museums are always inspiring. In Venice last time I stayed next to the pleats designer...must think of his name...just terrific.
      Ahh...FORTUNY.

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  12. Sally V.1:45 PM

    I was at a local museum and the curator showed me a pair of impossibly small, white soft leather, handmade women's shoes. She said had she reached carefully into the toe of one shoe and there was a flimsy paper telling of the history of the shoes and the brides that wore them. This was a curator's dream find!

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  13. Carol P.1:46 PM

    The Red Shoes was one of my all time favorite movies. I had to take ballet lessons, which I did for a number of years, until I realized I didn't have the desire to be a Real Ballerina. Thank you for the images.

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    1. Does one ever outgrow THE RED SHOES? I hope not. So magical.
      And the music is haunting...

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  14. I don't think I ever saw the red shoes. I've never even had red shoes, not even tennies and I wonder why not? They're very cute. No ballet shoes, though. They don't work with orthotics! My ballet career was two or three very horrible years in Miss Assif's dance class. I had to be a deer in a recital in my green tutu and spangled antlers. Somehow a fat, nine-year-old deer with no particular grace or agility isn't exactly Ballet Russes material!

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    1. Awww...You sound adorable πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘
      At nine no one expects Pavlova.
      I was in the Walze of the Flowers/Nutcracker at 7. Strictly grade school production.
      A rite of passage these things πŸ˜„

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  15. Kathleen10:18 PM

    Watercolor lovely...always loved that movie - music and dancing (of course, men driving a woman to suicide not a great theme but it was beautifully done - hah!) Made me feel like seeing it again.

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    1. It was made in the 1940s
      Choosing a dance career over marital servitude...not easy.
      Today too...

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  16. Allie in NYC10:54 PM

    Love your red shoes !!

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  17. One of my all time top 10 movies. Thank you for this post.

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  18. J'adore vos chaussures rouges Carol! Tres belles :) As a former dancer, I can't get enough ballet - live or on film...I hope you've heard Kate Bush's song The Red Shoes from her album of the same name. If not here it is! https://youtu.be/HqkgNTTppJM She also made a short 20 min film on the same theme but harder to find.

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  19. Interesting but nothing compares to the original film soundtrack
    The Red Shoes: Ballet Music (1948 Recording)
    https://youtu.be/tPDNTA2MXc4

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