By Elizabeth Patterson
Shoes are the vice of many a sensible person. Their endless variations and designs ensure a favorite find for anyone, whether they are searching for practicality, originality or the perfect addition to complete a look. But what happens when something that’s meant to be functional above all goes against that very notion? The MoMu Antwerp is bringing this concept to the forefront of their latest exhibit.
Footprint – The Tracks of Shoes in Fashion focuses on shoes that have challenged the traditional. Designs from rule-breaking designers like Nicolas Ghesquiere, Rodarte and Nicholas Kirkwood, and Iris van Herpen all get their moment in the spotlight. Those Alexander McQueen Chinese inspired heels from Spring 2008? They’re there. Vivienne Westwood’s platform brocade boots? Yup, those too. Margiela Tabi’s? Naturally! And of course, no shoe exhibit would be complete without the modern-day shoe king himself, Christian Louboutin, whose “ballerina ultima” is rightfully on display. No shoe is left unturned in this comprehensive exhibit.
Beyond the outlandish, shoes that are a bit more conservative (in comparison) are also featured. Raf Simons’ sneaker designs as well as some Ferragamo “Marilyn Monroe” heels (bejeweled in a dazzling red fit for the bombshell herself) are also on view. Additionally, photos, drawings and advertisements are included, most notably Dirk Bikkembergs shoe-centric Spring 1986 campaign, sketches from Manolo Blahnik, and a shot of Salvatore Ferragamo placing a shoe on Sofia Loren, Cinderella style.
But the crown jewels of the exhibit are definitely the shoes that make you do a double take. Jurgi Persoon’s heel-only shoe from 1997 is definitely worth a stare, and Tokio Kumagai’s “eye” sandals will stare right back at you, adorned as they are with an optical design. A.F. Vandevorst’s 2008 hoof heel is also another fetishistic attention grabber, as is their dissection of a shoe, which shows the interior design and construction that goes into cobbling. Also un-missable is Lady Gaga favorite Noritaka Tatehana’s shoes, which range from his own personal designs like the crystal covered “Lady Pointe” to his jagged, dangerous looking collaboration with Iris van Herpen.
Whether you’re a shoe lover or just want to see something interesting, you can’t go wrong at this exhibit. Footprint – The Tracks of Shoes in Fashion is at the MoMu Antwerp from September 3, 2015 to February 15, 2016.