Thursday, October 29, 2015

Torturous Beauty

Shoes - Toerless Muse - Christian Louboutin
Christian Louboutin (Sold out!)
We've seen them in high-end department stores like Barneys, Bergdorfs, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, along with knock-offs in DSW and Off Broadway Shoes. But mostly, we've seen them in Vogue and Elle on young models, on entertainers like Lady Gaga and Beyoncé, or celebrities like .....hold your breath, here it comes! .....the Kardashians.

I must admit, though, that these incredible shoes fascinate me the way classic horror movies fascinated me as a child. I knew what was coming (mummies, werewolves and screams in the night!), but I continued watching anyway.

Shoes - Highness Strass - Christian Louboutin
Christian Louboutin, $6,395.00. (Still available; hurry while supplies last!)

Several things about these outlandish shoes fascinate me. One of them, of course, is practical: How does a woman walk in them without spraining an ankle, slipping and breaking her neck, or necessitating visits to a chiropractor or podiatrist once a week?

Sophia Webster - Parisa Metal-Trim Suede Sandals
Sophia Webster, $750.00

Manolo Blahnik - Bellanto Suede Lace-Back Open-Toe Ankle Boots
Manolo Blahnik, $1,145.

The second thing is cost: Who pays $1,500 to $6,000+ for a pair of shoes? And what woman only owns one pair?

Not Sarah Jessica Parker.

Not fashion muse Daphne Guinness. She owns 450 pairs of shoes....and counting.

Guinness in a pair of shoes by the late Alexander McQueen

And that brings me to the incredible footwear created by the late fashion designer, Alexander McQueen.

Fantasy fashion: Last September McQueen sent models down the catwalk in towering 12-inch boots for an ethereal show inspired by Charles Darwin's The Origin Of The Species
Models on the runway of a McQueen fashion show.

The Armadillo Shoe by Alexander McQueen

 Alas, the "Armadillo Shoe" is not available to mere mortals like us. They only exist in fashion archives and Lady Gaga's closet. Her fiance, Taylor Kinney, bought her $295,000 worth of Alexander McQueen shoes.

Alexander McQueen

Lady Gaga in Alexander McQueen.

Lady Gaga in Alexander McQueen shoes (minus heels)

I have spent more time than I care to admit wondering how someone walks in shoes without heels? A close friend of  Daphne Guinness said that she will either rock back onto her own heels, the front of the shoes pointing into the air.... or lift one leg in the air, like a stork, and then switch to the other leg. It certainly takes the expression, "No pain, no gain" to a whole other dimension.

Alexander McQueen
Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

Poets say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It must be so because many people found McQueen's work extraordinary. That includes the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC who mounted an exhibition of McQueen's work in 2011, a year after his death. Called "Savage Beauty", I think the title says it all.


  1. I find these shoes enormously creative but hard to imagine actually walking in. For the determined few who do figure it out, their outings in them have to consist of carefully calculated plans of counted steps between the car and the chair within their destination. While these shoes celebrate shoe design as an art form, I think they're better suited standing on a pedestal... not jammed into a body part! What's next? Calder mobile capes?

  2. When it comes to human creativity, anything is possible, isn't it?

    An artist must find an outlet for his/her imagination, whatever the form. Perhaps the women who chose to wear these incredible shoes, do so to celebrate the artistic vision they see....much like ballet dancers who endure pain to give a physical dimension to music.

    Something to think about....

  3. I see young women in shoes like this a lot. It always makes me laugh. They're usually very young and very slim. They walk as if lifting their foot is the most difficult thing in the world. Beautiful, but not at all graceful.

    And for the record, Sarah Jessica Parker wore these shoes and ran through the streets of Manhattan. Now that's impressive.