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Pair of evening shoes

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1958-1960 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Vivier, Roger, born 1913 - died 1998 (designer)
    Christian Dior (designed for)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Embroidered silk satin with beads, gilt thread, rhinestones and brilliants

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs Loel Guinness

  • Museum number:

    T.149&A-1974

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Roger Vivier (1913-98) was a designer of luxury shoes, and is credited with creating the stiletto heel. He designed for several couturiers, including Elsa Schiaparelli in the 1930s, but notably for Christian Dior from 1953-63. He is the only one of Dior's collaborators permitted to have a credit on the final design - 'Christian Dior crée par Roger Vivier' - which is marked inside every shoe.

He worked in elaborate and expensive materials including silks, pearls, beads, lace, metal threads and jewels.

Physical description

Pair of pink silk satin shoes with high heels. Embroidered with beads, gilt thread, rhinestones and pink brilliants. Pointed toe and high stiletto heels.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)

Date

1958-1960 (made)

Artist/maker

Vivier, Roger, born 1913 - died 1998 (designer)
Christian Dior (designed for)

Materials and Techniques

Embroidered silk satin with beads, gilt thread, rhinestones and brilliants

Marks and inscriptions

'Christian Dior crée par Roger Vivier Paris'

Dimensions

Height: 140 mm, Width: 75 mm, Depth: 250 mm

Historical context note

Designer:
Roger Vivier (1913-98) was the designer of luxury shoe designer. He is credited with creating the Stiletto heel. He designed for several couturiers, including Schiaparelli in the 1930s, but notably designed for Dior from 1953-63. He is the only one of Dior's collaborators permitted to have a credit on the final design: 'Christian Dior crée par Roger Vivier'.

Donor:
Gloria Rubio y Alatorre, better known as Gloria Guinness (1912-1980) was an elegant socialite and writer of the mid 20th century.

Her third husband, whom she married in 1951, was Group Capt. Thomas Loel Guinness, a Member of Parliament (died 1989) and an heir to the Guinness beer fortune.

She was voted second 'Best Dressed Woman' in the world by Time magazine in 1962. Jackie Kennedy was in first place. (See Time magazine Jan 26 1962)

Descriptive line

Pair of embroidered silk satin shoes with high heels, designed by Roger Vivier for Christian Dior, Paris, 1958-1960

Labels and date

Label for the exhibition Shoes: Pleasure and Pain

The Fabergé of Shoes

The highly decorated shoes by designer Roger Vivier for Christian Dior in the 1950s and early ’60s represent the ultimate in luxury footwear. Only the wealthiest members of society could afford Dior’s accessories and gowns. The donor and wearer of these shoes, Mrs Gloria Loel Guinness, belonged to one of Europe’s richest families.

Beaded evening shoes
1958–60
Paris
Roger Vivier for Christian Dior
Silk, beads, gilded thread,
rhinestones and brilliants
Worn and given by Mrs Gloria Loel Guinness
V&A: T.149&A-1974 [2015-2016]
Shoes
Roger Vivier (1913-98)
Paris
1950s

Roger Vivier started working for Elsa Schiaparelli in the 1930s, when his designs were considered shocking by major retailers. He went on to collaborate with many couturiers to create shoes for their collections and started collaborating with Dior when the New Look brought emphasis to the ankle and foot. Vivier created a number of innovative heel shapes for Dior, including the comma heel and the stiletto.

1. Shoe, black tulle over satin
Roger Vivier (1913-98)
1954
Given by Roger Vivier
V&A: T.148-1974

2. Shoe, pink satin embroidered with beads and silk and metal thread
Roger Vivier (1913-98)
Late 1950s
Given by Roger Vivier [credited in error]
V&A: T.149-974

3. Shoe, satin embroidered with beads and silk and metal thread
Roger Vivier (1913-98)
Late 1950s
Given by Roger Vivier
V&A: T.154-1974

4. Shoe, camouflage pattern
Roger Vivier (1913-98)
Late 1950s
By courtesy of Roger Vivier

5. Shoe, satin with bows
Roger Vivier (1913-98)
Late 1950s
By courtesy of Roger Vivier

6. Shoe, satin with imitation pearls
Roger Vivier (1913-98)
Late 1950s
By courtesy of Roger Vivier [22/09/2007]

Materials

Silk satin; Beads; Rhinestone; Gilt

Techniques

Shoe-making; Embroidery

Categories

Footwear; Fashion; Accessories; Women's clothes; Embroidery

Production Type

Haute couture

Collection

Textiles and Fashion Collection

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