Virgule, etc…in the Footsteps of Roger Vivier . A retrospective

When is a shoe not a shoe? When it is a work of art  .    WWD                                                                                                                                                                         

On an earlier post I wrote about the Azzedine Alaia retrospective at the Palais Galliera , Paris .

There is a another beautiful fashion retrospective at the Palais de Tokyo that you cannot miss .

Virgule, etc…in the Footsteps of Roger Vivier, the show’s name nods to the iconic virgule (or comma) heel introduced by the house’s namesake founder in 1963.

Roger Vivier was born in Paris in 1907 and after graduating in Sculpture at the Ecole Des Beaux Arts , he begins to design shoe styles for friends who own a factory .

In 1937 he opens his own shoe design company at 22 Rue Royale where he sells his creations to the most important shoe makers in the world,  he also signs a contract with the American company Delman for whom he designs platform shoes which were adopted by Elsa Schiapparelli for her Spring-Summer 1937 Cirque collection

Working for Christian Dior in the 50’s  and until 1963 and creating for the Maison the shoes for the coronation of the young Queen Of England ,Queen Elizabeth II, as well as for Parisian maisons  such as  Grés, Balmain, Nina Ricci  , Roger Vivier creates the “Virgule” heel in 1963 in order to distance himself from his previous creations.

In 1954 he launches the first stiletto heel.

In 1965 he creates the iconic square-heel and Pilgrim-buckle pump for Saint Laurent’s Mondrian collection .This pump will be immortalized by Catherine Deneuve in the film Belle De Jour  by Buñuel . Other iconic women that fell to his feet in every sense of the word, and immortalized his creations were The Duchess of Windsor, Princess Soraya of Iran, Jeanne Moreau and Marlene Dietrich, Brigitte Bardot, to name but a few.

Roger Vivier saw the shoe as a sculpture whose shape he constantly called into question.There is an entire room dedicated to his heels. Heels were his key elements, from the stiletto to the ‘virgule’.

This  show is a collection of 170 exquisite vintage shoes and accessories and is curated by Olivier Saillard, who also curated the Azzedine Alaia retrospective. Olivier Saillard has given every single shoe  an alternative name, like artworks in a museum: “The Mona Lisa of Shoemakers” or “Floorboard Skater” .   Exquisite.

The show is on until the 19 th November 2013.




4 responses to “Virgule, etc…in the Footsteps of Roger Vivier . A retrospective”

  1. Victoria says:


  2. Laritsa says:

    I have a pair of shoes Roger Vivier for Delman, never used; is there a way to sale it, can you please put me in contact with someone interested? This shoes were bought by my mother in 1995 at New York, they are red with a golden virgule heel. Thanks in advance for your support.


    • fashionsphinx says:

      Hello Laritsa….I have no idea who to put you in touch with because I only know the PR office at Vivier. The best way is to sell them through ebay.com i am sure that someone will be interested if they are in a perfect state and never used. ebay.com is serious.



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