Saturday, 18 August 2012

If the Shoe Fits.....

The Bata Shoe Museum is located at the southwest corner of Bloor Street and St. George in downtown Toronto. And you wouldn't think that footwear would be a topic that could possibly fill a five storey building inspired by a shoebox, but there are more than 13,000 artifacts spanning 4500 years of history.
There are shoes worn by Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon, Roger Federer, and Elton John. A single blue Adidas running shoe was worn by Terry Fox on his legendary cross-Canada journey in 1981. Napoleon 's black silk socks are on display. And a pair of burgundy, high-top Supra SkyTop II sneakers that were worn by Canadian teen-idol sensation Justin Bieber
This astronaut's training boot from the Apollo Space program was worn by Jim Lovell in the 1960s
Tiny satin slippers worn by Queen Victoria  (1819 - 1901)
Shaquille O'Neal was one of the NBA's most dominant players, playing on the USA 1996 Olympic team and for Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat. Standing 7'-1" and weighing 325 pounds, he wears a size 23 shoe. This shoe is size 20EEE and was worn in 1993 in his Rookie year.... while his feet were still growing.
Roger Vivier (1907 - 1998) was one of the most celebrated shoe designers of the 20th Century. He rose to fame in the 1950s when he designed footwear for Christian Dior, and his shoes signified mid-century glamour, often covered with pearls, lace, jewels, applique, rhinestones and sparkling ornaments.
Princess Nina Midvani, daughter-in-law of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, owned this pair of made-to-measure Vivier shoes.
This shoe designed by Vivier in the 1960s would be quite fashionable today.
Another wing of the Museum houses a collection of moccasins created by Indigenous peoples from diverse regions of North America. Ninety pairs of shoes, boots and moccasins show exquisite craftsmanship, regional patterns, and beautiful decoration.
Beading on both the uppers and on the sole of the shoe,worn for special events..
And yet another wing of the Museum is dedicated to the Roaring Twenties. As hemlines rose, shoes became increasingly important for stylish women and many of the decade's exceptional shoes illustrate the electrifying synergy between fashion and design.
A great way to spend an afternoon... shoe shopping!

19 comments:

Hilary said...

I had no idea there was a shoe museum in Toronto.. and that it could be this much fun. You find the most interesting things, Shammie.. and thankfully, you share.

dogbait said...

Probably won't be high on my sightseeing list if we visit Toronto again.
PS Have you ever tried doing those little tests to prove you're not a robot when posting a comment on your site? Maybe my eyesight is going kaput.

Charles Ravndal said...

Oooh I love shoes and it's an interesting place to visit! Lovely!

Shammickite said...

Dogbait.... actually I am a robot, I just don't want anyone to know.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

What a fantastic place! I can see how one could spend a loy of time there---and it all is displayed so beautiful!
Thanks for sharing this, my dear....I Loved It!

Ginnie said...

How fun is that! I bet anyone would have quite a time in that museum, Sham. You probably can guess that I'd be wide-eyed over the moccasins. And maybe some high-legged boots, which surely they also had. Very cool place!

Patricia said...

Good photos! It must be a nice place to visit,

photowannabe said...

Five floors of shoes...how fascinating.
I really like the shoes from the last 2 pictures. I'll bet they cost a gazillion dollars.
Thanks for sharing Shammie.

Anvilcloud said...

I have "heard" about this place before, but being a guy, it's not exactly on my bucket list. :)

Craver Vii said...

Most stores play music for their shoppers. But I imagine that the museum does not. Too bad. There's a lot of good sole music out there. ;-)

CiCi said...

The closest I have come looking at shoes in a museum was the many visits to the Smithsonian when we lived in northern Virginia. I was fascinated with the statues of all the first ladies and their clothes, and it seemed like long ago the women were much smaller, shorter, and began to gain height through the years. The shoes you show in your photos are lots of fun. I like the ones worn by Queen Victoria.

EG CameraGirl said...

Very cool. I need to revisit that wonderful place.

Suldog said...

MY WIFE would love that place. I'm not as enamored - and more's the pity, I suppose. I own one pair of black wingtips, and 5 or 6 pairs of sneakers, and am quite satisfied. MY WIFE owns enough footwear to open a small boutique.

The Next Chapter said...

There are some really lovely shoes - I will have to look out for the museum the next time I am in Toronto it sounds like a great place to visit.

Xtreme English said...

What a wonderful post! I, too, had no idea about the shoe museum in Toronto. These are extra special!!

madretz said...

That'd be so much fun! I used to be a lot more into fashionable shoes but comfort has taken over. I still admire them though.

Dave said...

An amazing blog Shammickite! Who would have thought shoes could be that interesting? - Dave

Rock Chef said...

Not surprised!

Shoes are a bit thing for some people. Early in my blogging days I did a survey of my readers to find the size of their shoe collections.

From memory:

Guys averaged at around 5 pairs each (including boots and trainers).

Women averaged at around 30 with some having over 200 pairs!

*Sheila* said...

Very interesting!
I love the 20s-30s shoes. I had some similar styles in the 60s-70s. I guess if you keep something long enough it will come back into fashion.