I was recently perusing current Fashion events when I read that the Brooklyn Museum going to be hosting Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe. Well, I happen to love shoes, so naturally I made my way over to view their fashionable exhibit. It was my first time visiting the Brooklyn Museum with its grand columns and glass entryway and right away I could tell it was going to be a fitting venue for an exhibit of this nature. Upon entering the exhibit, you can hear the click clack of high heels against a floor through the speakers. A familiar sound I instantly recognized due to my penchant for these types of footwear. What a way to set the tone. I could tell this show was definitely going to be all about shoes...
Exhibit notes cite that Killer Heels aims to explore the high heeled shoe as one of the most provocative and iconic objects of desire. With an emphasis on the elevated shoe, the collection wasn't limited to the stiletto. It also included wedges and the platform, the oldest form of the elevated shoe. The exhibit was divided into six distinct sections, each grouped by theme. The curation included a combination of six commissioned videos and coordinating art and furniture. In some instances historical shoes were paired with modern styles where one could clearly see the design influence. A lot of the footwear displayed took references from nature and architecture, including some that didn't initially look like shoes. Some took their references more literal than others. Such was the case with a pair that featured miniature Eiffel towers for heels and another that was made from horse's hooves.
As a serious Fashion collector, shoes are something that are often on my mind and the collection did certainly provoke a lot of thought. The exhibit itself was mostly a visual display, but it touched on topics of production, practicality (or the lack of), and the physical effects of wearing high heels. I started to think about the importance of the shoe in Fashion and how necessary it is. What are clothes without shoes? Conceivably, I could leave my house without a handbag or a fancy necklace, but, without a pair of shoes on my feet, I'd doubt I'd get far.
Everything was covered from traditional shoe making techniques to unconventional materials and methods. At over 160 pairs of shoes, it's quite a collection and includes all the major designers.
Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Alexander McQueen, Walter Steiger, and Giuseppe Zanottiare all accounted for. Killer Heels was extremely well done and curated with a thoughtful eye to bring out the best in show. The inclusion of videos, furniture, and art went far into creating an exceptional experience. In fact, there was so much to take in, I was worried I had missed something and walked the exhibit twice. Even in a pair of my favorite strappy Louboutins, it was well worth the journey.
PHOTOS BY ADC