Observing the latest extravagant models of shoes designed by such famous masters as Manolo Blahnik, Salvatore Ferragamo, Christian Louboutin, Roger Vivier, and many others, the viewer of the Shoe Obsession exhibition can be inclined to ask about the designers’ motivation, intentions, and goals while creating the shoes.
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What is the purpose of creating such lavish, but rather unpractical shoes? What inspires the designers to develop such unusual forms and use such odd accessories? The answers to these questions can be associated with the shifting goals of producing shoes.
Today, designers focus on creating shoes as on the development of the art object which can be successfully used on podiums and in the real life. Modern women are not afraid of wearing the unique shoes in their everyday life. Moreover, it is rather difficult to surprise a modern woman in relation to the tendencies in the shoe fashion.
From this point, the models presented by the designers at the Shoe Obsession exhibition can be discussed as the attempts to shift the shoe fashion at the new higher level and to present shoes as the pieces of the designers’ art. That is why, it is important to concentrate on discussing the most remarkable models designed by Roger Vivier, Marieka Ratsma, Gianluca Tamburini, and Christian Louboutin.
The Shoe Obsession exhibition presents the imaginative models of shoes which evoke the variety of the viewers’ emotions because of their originality. The experimental shoes by Janina Alleyne, the imaginative models by Salvatore Ferrgamo, Charline De Luca, Serio Rossi, Alberto Guardiani, and Noritaka Tatehana support the idea that shoes are no more justified according to their practicality (“Experimental Shoes by Janina Alleyne”; “Shoes by Salvatore Ferrgamo”; “Shoes by Noritaka Tatehana”).
The beauty and uniqueness of design is important. Shoes by Manolo Blahnik and Christian Louboutin are the part of the fashion cult the main features of which are lavishness and vividness (“Shoes by Manolo Blahnik”; “Shoes by Christian Louboutin”).
The heels of the contemporary shoe models are extremely high. It seems that they accentuate the women’s efforts to reach the tops (“The Main Gallery”). The imagination of the shoe designers is not limited today by the practicality concept, but it is ruled by the idea of extremes and extravagance (“The Introductory Gallery”). Feathers, crystals, and spikes are used to decorate the shoes of any whimsical forms (“Shoes on Loan from Saks Fifth Avenue”).
However, in spite of the heels’ sizes and unusual decorative elements, a lot of models presented at the exhibition can be discussed the dream of many women. The reason is in the fact that the possession of such shoes can be comparable with the possession of brilliants.
Biotech is the model presented by Gianluca Tamburini’s brand Conspiracy. Thin and harmonic forms of these shoes with the remarkable metallic shine fascinate the viewers (“Conspiracy: Biotech”). A woman in such shoes cannot remain unnoticeable. This model draws the viewers’ attention because it represents the associations with futurism which concepts are discussed in the modern society. From this point, Biotech shoes can be considered as the shoes of the future.
The opposite associations evoke the model Biomimicry designed by Marieka Ratsma. If Biotech shoes are the representations of the future, Biomimicry shoes are the footwear inspired by the biological, naturalistic, and ancestral concepts.
These elegant light shoes reflect the forms and features of the bird skull, evoking the associations with the nature and its aesthetics. The form of the shoe is the fashionable variant of using the bone structure of the bird skull. Biomimicry shoes produce an interesting effect of lightness because of the structure of their base and heels (“Marieka Ratsma: Biomimicry Shoe”).
The above-mentioned models operate the unique ideas and concepts of the Past and Future. The model Fetish Ballerine designed by Christian Louboutin uses the well-known idea of pointes. Ballerinas strive for the beauty as any other women, and any woman dreams about the elegance of a real ballerina.
Christian Louboutin combines the elements of pointes and pumps in the black model Fetish Ballerine (“Christian Louboutin: Fetish Ballerine”). Heels are the new women’s passion and the main characteristic feature of the modern footwear. That is why, it is not surprising that pointes should also have incredible 8-inch heels as the other shoes for which 4-inch heels are discussed as rather low.
The model with an eyelash heel designed by Roger Vivier is the vivid example of elegant shoes. Such a detail as the heel with feathers makes the whole shoes unusual (“Roger Vivier: Eyelash Heel Pump”). The eyelash heel designed by Vivier is the independent decorative element, and a dress or a costume should be chosen according to these shoes. From this perspective, shoes are not just accessories today, but they are the main accents of the woman’s costume. All the lines of these shoes are clear and ideal to provide the unique piece of art.
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Modern shoes should be discussed not only as the fashion accessories but also as the independent art objects which are characterized by the unique forms and style, and their observation can evoke the viewers’ positive emotions of delight and admiration.
Christian Louboutin: Fetish Ballerine. 2013. Web.
Conspiracy: Biotech. 2013. Web.
Experimental Shoes by Janina Alleyne. 2013. Web.
Marieka Ratsma: Biomimicry Shoe. 2013. Web.
Roger Vivier: Eyelash Heel Pump. 2013. Web.
Shoes by Christian Louboutin. 2013. Web.
Shoes by Manolo Blahnik. 2013. Web.
Shoes by Noritaka Tatehana. 2013. Web.
Shoes by Salvatore Ferrgamo, Charline De Luca, Serio Rossi, and Alberto Guardiani. 2013. Web.
Shoes on Loan from Saks Fifth Avenue. 2013. Web.
The Introductory Gallery. 2013. Web.
The Main Gallery. 2013. Web.