It has been five years in the making but at last the Victoria & Albert Museum is ready to stage its latest exhibition – Shoes: Pleasure & Pain. An  encyclopaedic array of more than 250 notable, groundbreaking, back-breaking, and famous shoe designs all under one roof. The historic and contemporary shoe styles are arranged across a two-floor shoe shrine, which explores the truly transformative nature of shoes.

"This obsession with shoes just really struck me, and how it's gone on. Through social media, it's in our living room. I wanted to go into why are we who we are in shoes? And so often they are not really made for our feet, which are actually quite wide. Fashion is a different thing," explains the exhibition's curator Helen Persson.

Be prepared to get up close and personal with shoes worn by some of the most well-heeled feet in the world. We have to mention the simple pair of courts that once belonged to Marilyn Monroe. "Her toe prints can still be seen inside," points out Persson. Visitors can wonder at the thought of walking a few steps in the shoes of this Hollywood icon. Also on display are the blue Vivienne Westwood platforms that Naomi Campbell famously tumbled in on the catwalk; designs by Jean-Louis Francois Pinet; and of course the modern small screen queen of shoes, Carrie Bradshaw, shoes from the character's extensive (and largely Manolo Blahnik) collection will be on display. 

V&A new shoe exhibit

V&A new shoe exhibit

V&A new shoe exhibit

Shoes: Pleasure & Pain, runs from June 13 - January 31 2016.