Wednesday 29 June 2011

Road Trip! - Designer Shoes, Sunglasses and A History Lesson

Hey my loves -I am writing this post in a slight haze of pain, after overdoing it a bit yesterday, but believe me it was so worth it x

Yesterday me, my mum and my godmother headed 30 or so miles through the Co. Durham countryside to a town called Barnard Castle. its a very historic and picturesque town in the south of the county - the picture here shows the Market Cross, alas we never made it as far the castle because as you can see the entire town is on a hill and climbing hills ain't my strong point! We spent the morning wandering around the town, popping into a few shops (I'll do a quick post with my purchases later), and having a pub lunch, before heading a little way out of the town to The Bowes Museum.

Built in the 19th Century on the design of a French Chateau, the building was purposely built by John Bowes and his French wife Josephine to house their growing collections of painting, ceramics, textiles and furniture, in an attempt to introduce the people of John's native Teesdale to the world and beauty of art. The museum itself is beautiful to look at, and the ground are equally beautiful with parkland , and more formal raised beds and fountains.

The museum itself contains numerous exhibits including ceramics, silver, the famous silver swan, French furniture, textiles, and many exhibits with a local feel. Like most museums they also play host to several temporary,visiting exhibitions, one of which is Vivienne Westwood Shoes - A Worldwide Exhibition 1973 -2011. I have to say this is the main reason I wanted to go, I love the museum, we used to go a lot when I was younger, but the shoes were the main draw.
The Bowes Museum is the only host of this exhibition in the UK outside of London, so I had to go. I took a few photos but they haven't came out that well because of the museum lighting, and the fact you can't use your flash but I hope you get the idea. I have to say it was fabulous the women is an artist extraordinaire. Not all of them are the most wearable but they are amazing to look at - I took some pics of a few of my faves - first up these ones

do they look familiar? maybe this will jog your memory

                                           (pic borrowed from here . )

Yes it's the shoes that floored Naomi Campbell - the Vivienne Westwood Super Elevated Gillie from the Anglomania collection in 2003 - gorgeous and such an iconic moment

Next up these ones - in a style called Rocking Horse, they are a wedge but they have the gait and movement of a rocking horse - They are from the 1996 Harris Tweed Collection

I have to say this pair were of my favourites - again from Anglomania - typical Westwood tartan

and aren't these boots just gorgeous, the exhibition contained her famous thigh highs and pirate boots but these were one of my favourites, the detailing and embroidery is amazing in the flesh, these boots are from the Sex collection in 1974

I have to say there was a fair share of insane shoes there from ones that looked like PomPoms, to ones with heels made of larger cans but these ones erm what can I say apart from the name Penis Shoes!!

Can't see myself wearing them some how lol I have to say we really enjoyed looking at all the shoes the craftsmanship in every pair was amazing - I really wanted the exhibition catalogue but at £39 I passed. It was a really interesting experience just seeing the shoes though, looking at peoples reactions and so on - I was talking to two lovely older ladies who had been to her shops in the 70's and 80's and were really into the fashion scene at the time - one of them also had the pleasure of spending a bit of time with Barbara Hulanicki from Biba - very jealous. The exhibition only runs for another few days so I was lucky to catch it - if your in the area it's well worth a look. The only downside of the day I lost my prescription sunglasses - booo an expense I could do without. Any questions leave me a comment and I'll be back later with a little haul from yesterday x
ETA - The sunglasses showed up in the boot of the car of all places wahoo


  1. Ahhh those are all so cool. I wish I could afford a pair of proper Westwood heels. I loooove the rocking horse ones. I do have some of the Melissa/Westwood cheap ones and they're lovely but not too comfy. Sounds like a good day out!

  2. I wish i lived closer to County Durham now.The place where you went looks amazing.Think i'd love it there and i'd end up taking lots and lots of photos

  3. I'd love to go to this but I think it's pretty difficult to get to without a car!


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