Summer might seem far away but savvy travellers are already planning ahead, and those busy arranging a trip to Florence should not forget to make time for a visit to the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum, which will be hosting an exhibition dedicated to Marilyn Monroe’s shoes from June 2012 until January 2013. What better way to learn a little about art, fashion and the world’s most iconic film star?
Salvatore Ferragamo converted shoe design into an art form to which he dedicated his entire life, opening his first shop at the age of 13 just outside of Naples. His almost obsessive quest for the perfect shoe lead him to study everything from human anatomy to mathematics, and took him across the Atlantic to the USA, then back to Italy again, where he felt he could find the best craftmanship. Salvatore’s methods were were scientific and precise, yet his creations were, and still are, beautifully whimsical and playful, works of art in their own right.
It was the opening of Ferragamo’s Hollywood Boot Shop in California that placed him at the very epicentre of the world’s most prolific film industry and cemented his position as shoemaker to the stars of the silver screen. The era’s biggest icon, Marilyn Monroe, was no exception.
Throughout the 1950s, he designed more than 40 gorgeous pairs of shoes for Monroe that contributed to her iconic image, helping to form the legend that she subsequently became. The exhibition will showcase much of this footwear, as well as other items of clothing and artwork dedicated to the star. The exhibition will include treasures such as beautiful Dorothy-esque Swarovski crystal shoes, a red version of the pair worn by Monroe in Let’s Make Love, although the star of the show will undoubtedly be the slinky stilettos paired with that billowing white dress in The Seven Year Itch in one of the most iconic images of all time.