Unpacking Pollini

Unpacking Pollini shoes exhibition

Shelf Appeal does different things with her working day. Some digital work, some writing, some curating, some things other. During Milan fashion week just gone was a project to co-curate with Penny Martin a show for Italian shoe brand Pollini, who were celebrating their 60th anniversary and showing their Autumn / Winter 2013 collection.

We named the show Unpacking Pollini, to reflect the opening up of their archive of shoes for the first time. As well the title reiterated the main visual concept for the show – a tumble of shoe boxes and shoes. As if someone had just tried on everything in the collection. This installation was backed up by blown-up archival Pollini imagery from the very early 1970s and a screen pinned with fabulous polaroids and b&w photos of shoes and bags from the 1960s – 1980s, also found in the archive.

The ‘pile of boxes’ as it became unequivocally titled, took a day or so to build from the centre out. Some 450 boxes of different sizes and covered in matt white paper became an installation reaching 7m in length and about 2.5 m at its highest. And Shelf Appeal had the not too onerous task of displaying all the archive shoes with nothing but these boxes and the palest grey tissue paper. The labels for the archive display were beautifully simple cards with dates on them. Designed (as were the rest of the exhibition graphics) by Veronica Ditting.

The show was up for 4 hours. We ran a live Shoe Social during that time, taking polaroid’s of shoes with people in them and tweeting them out and pinning them up. I snapped this very accommodating gentleman who showcased a man’s and a women’s shoe at the same time. He didn’t have to be asked twice to strike a pose.

Pollini shoe social