Just before London Fashion Week kicked off, the Victoria and Albert Museum hosted one of its intimate fashion talks revolving around the current fabulous exhibition entitled Shoes: Pleasure & Pain, with fashion journalist Gianluca Longo and Bruno Frisoni, creative director of Roger Vivier.

It was clear to see the admiration that designer Frisoni feels for Roger Vivier himself, calling him the Fabergé of shoemakers and the original creator of the stiletto. Even as a student, Frisoni looked up to Vivier, and his couture-like approach to shoemaking. Vivier was making shoes for the likes of Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and celebrities like Bridgette Bardot, Catherine Deneuve and The Beatles. He even created the elaborate ruby-encrusted shoes for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Frisoni is undoubtleyl following in the same footsteps, as his designs have been adorned by the likes of Cate Blanchett, Scarlett Johansson, Amanda Seyfired and French fashion icon Ines de la Fressange, who happens to be the brand ambassador.

“Shoes chose me”, Frisoni said, as he spoke of his time as a fashion student, the many highlights of his career, and how he decided to close down his namesake label to focus on footwear. It was remarkable to see both men look at original Roger Vivier shoes and current designs to see how they’ve been updated. Stilettos became higher, heels more curved, and shapes more dramatic. It all starts with a sketch; Frisoni’s are a mix of detailed and chaotic, or a playful and unexpcted name. The designer spoke fondly of the rich heritage of the house, explaining how it makes his job a lot easier, but also how creating distance from the point of influence is key. Be sure to check out the exhibit to see original Roger Vivier shoes on display.


Nada Abdul Ghaffar


Image Credits: 1. Roger Vivier (1907–98) for Christian Dior (1905–1957). Evening shoe, beaded silk and leather, France, 1958-60 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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