A! Magazine for the Arts

'Head Over Heels' opens at William King

October 27, 2020

From the collection of Mary Jane Miller comes a sensational show of shoes. “Head Over Heels” is opening in William King Museum of Arts’ United Company-LeGard Galleries, Abingdon, Virginia, Nov. 19. This exhibition chronicles decades of high fashion through footwear and includes designers such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Emilio Pucci. With rare examples of Roberta di Camerino and Rayne, “Head Over Heels” presents a look at the haute couture world of shoes and examples of creativity masterfully executed into structural, wearable art. The head designer of Bella Belle shoes, Erina Ardianto, and VP and brand builder, Veronyca Kwan, join the conversation to discuss how the concept turns into reality in January.

Included in the Mary Jane Miller collection is an impressive collection of designer bags, belts and hats. This exhibition looks at elegant and playful accessories that are remarkable works of art. From the minds of top designers from the 1960s to the present day, “Head Over Heels” takes a look at how meticulous attention to detail and often handcrafted elements of shoes and accessories elevates them to the realm of fine arts.

Mary Jane Miller says, “Footwear, in general, is comprised of innovative and inventive little personalities. Each pair of fashion and fantasy footwear is beautifully crafted. This collection consists of exceptional examples. It is a journey of thousands of steps in the poetry of the foot.”

Katie Edwards, curator of decorative and fine art at WKMA, says, “ Head Over Heels is an explosion of color and fashion history, told through shoes and accessories. We have outstanding capsule collections from Emilio Pucci and Roberta di Camerino and examples of bags as early as the 1920s and 1930s. The footwear in the collection spans all styles from loafers to stilettos and also takes a look at global trends through the last 60 years. Visitors can also expect to see highlights of hats, belts, scarves and clothing in a truly dazzling show.”

This exhibition is organized by the William King Museum of Art.

“Head Over Heels” is on view Nov. 19, through Jan. 10. As part of the virtual opening, Nov. 19, WKMA is hosting a designer handbag raffle on Facebook. Tickets can be purchased online at williamkingmuseum.org under the events tab. A free lecture on the history of shoes is held Jan. 7 from 6 - 7 p.m.

Other associated events include gallery games Dec. 3 from 6-7 p.m., Tours at Two with Mary Jane Miller, Dec. 6 from 2-3 p.m. A Upcycled Shoes workshop Dec. 9 from 6-8 p.m., and a design your own shoe workshop Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The museum is open seven days a week: Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. Every First Thursday WKMA is open until 8 p.m. Admission to the museum is free. For information on exhibitions or events at William King Museum of Art visit williamkingmuseum.org or call 276-628-5005. Register for classes and events on WKMA’s website.