"Tell me how you walk, I'll tell you who you are"
Exhibition at the MAD (Museum of Decorative Arts)

WE love
A formidable exhibition on 7 centuries of shoe history
Age:  from 10 years old
Date:  until March 22
Location:   Museum of Decorative Arts (Paris 1st)

exhibition "marche et démarche" at the musée des arts décoratifs

Marche et Démarche, a history of the shoe: fashion accessory or instrument of torture?

  • 7 centuries of shoe history, 450 models on display to question the status of this indispensable everyday accessory
  • Did you know that in France, the girls of the nobility used to bandage their feet to make them thinner? That Indians had soles specially designed not to crush insects? That Chinese babies wore slippers decorated with tiger heads to protect themselves from evil spirits? That the differentiation between the right and left foot in the shoe only dates back to the Second Empire?
  • "Walk and Gait. A history of the shoe" is not a chronology of the shoe from antiquity to the present day, nor a panorama of the great bootmakers, explains Denis Bruna, curator of the exhibition. We were interested in the history of the shoe in its context, i.e. walking.
  • The idea of this exposure came to him when he discovered a Marie-Antoinette shoe size 33 and extremely thin. How could a 37-year-old woman slip her foot into such a small shoe? "The aristocratic women of the eighteenth, nineteenth and even the twentieth century did not walk, they had to stay idle at home, "says Denis Bruna.
  • The shoe plays directly on our walking and our movements.. We do not walk the same way with a pump or a moccasin. Our walk and gait are a reflection of our origins and social background.
  • Very playful moment of the exhibition, the fitting room where you can try on 8 models made by the bootmaker Fred Rolland. Some are particularly dangerous, like the vertiginous chopines (popular wedges between the 15th and 17th centuries used to protect clothes from mud), there are parallel walking bars that you hold onto to avoid falling!
  • We admire all types of shoes: dance shoes, tennis shoes, running shoes, (evolution of sneakers), Charlie Chaplin's shoes, the boots worn by Neil Armstrong when he took his first steps on the moon, the shoes resulting from the collaboration between Christian Louboutin and David Lynch, the extravagant models (importables) of contemporary designers
  • Some are works of art, including in the room devoted to "singular shoes", "the shoes of the god Hermes", a pair of winged entirely made from debris of screens of cell phones by the artist Juliette Miséréré.


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Practical information

See schedule details
  • Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm and Thursday from 10am to 9pm
  • Weekly closing on Mondays
  • Closed on January 1st, May 1st and December 25th

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