For centuries, women and sometimes men have squeezed their feet into tiny shoes or balanced on towering heels to feel sexy, empowered and to show their wealth and status. Now their sacrifice is being celebrated in a new exhibition, ‘Shoes: Pleasure and Pain’, which opens at the V&A museum in London on Saturday. From a 2,000-year-old pair of Egyptian gold sandals to child-like Chinese slippers for bound feet, to Christian Louboutin’s red-soled stilettoes, the 250 exhibits reveal how fashionable shoes have always been more than footwear. ‘The exhibition is about the obsession of shoes. It’s looking at the power of shoes, how they can tell about status and privilege,’ curator Helen Persson told AFP. Luxury shoes have long been the preserve of the rich and idle. Regardless of the cost, high heels, sumptuous fabrics and

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