Monday, April 18, 2011

The Roaring Twenties Opening - by Guest blogger Caitlin Dyer

Roaring Twenties Exhibit Opening is the Bees Knees!

On Tuesday, April 12th, 2001, the Bata Shoe Museum kicked off their new exhibit on the Roaring Twenties with a bang!  The glitz and glamour of the 1920's was taken to heart both by staff and guests, who turned up in their best Jazz Age outfits.  Sidecars, a cocktail which originated in the 1920's, were on offer alongside fabulous appetizers provided by Encore Catering.  Guests were serenaded by the sultry sounds of JUNO Award winning artist Liberty Silver and the Jazz Kats while costumed dancers demonstrated the Charleston.  If that wasn't enough to keep you entertained, silent films from the 1920's were projected on the wall.

To offcially kick off the evening we heard from the MC Jaymz Bee, Fashion Magazine editor Bernadette Mora, Senior Curator Elizabeth Semmelhack and the Museum's founder Mrs. Sonja Bata.  You see Mrs. Bata's remarks here.  We were then 'danced' up the stairs to the exhibit.

The exhibit itself was the best part of the evening for me.  As a lover of shoes and a public historian there is nothing I like better than history presented through shoes!  The exhibit chronicles the rise of the flapper and the greater freedoms that women enjoyed during the 20's as exemplified through spectator sport, bathing and dancing shoes.  Visitors are able to compare the fashion of the 20's to conservative boots from the preceding decade and the escapist metallic leather shoes of the Depression years.  This elegant travelling wardrobe full of shoes in like art for the shoe lover and my favourite part of the exhibit, second only to these sparkly t-strap pumps.

Perugia shoe box and shoes
Louis Vuitton shoe trunk

Overall, the evening was a roaring success.  The projections, music, dancing and themed drinks set the mood and the exhibit itself was the icing on the cake.  Or should I say the bees knees?!


  1. Sounds like a wonderful launch party and an exciting exhibit! Your description of the dancing and drinks make it seem like there was some authentic 1920s magic at the museum that night. I look forward to visiting and will be looking for those sparkly pumps!

  2. For such a sweet lady, Mrs. Bata definitely knows how to command some respect!

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