Sunday 27 November 2011

Shoes for Show: The Sculptural Art of High Heels

A couple of weeks ago I attended the “Shoes for Show” exhibition in London. It only ran in Brick Lane for a few days and being the shoe-a-holic that I am, I jumped at the chance.  

It all sounded good on paper so a couple of weekends back, I travelled into Central London to go and perve on the pretty shoes. Except the pretty shoes were nowhere to be found. My Google Maps led me to the wrong location – a charming, secluded area where I had visions of being knifed so got back onto the main road ASAP. I finally found the right number but when I got there, the Polish security guy sighed a loud sigh (I guess he had this a lot) and redirected me to another part of Brick Lane. Which I couldn’t find.

I was confused. I was lost. I was smelling amazing Brick Lane food and was damn hungry. I very nearly gave up. But thank goodness I didn't!

Finally found it. It was like a little abandoned warehouse, very simple and minimalist. One thing I’d worried about is that it’d be uber strict with lots of security personnel and photography prohibited. Not the case at all. There was one male “guard” who stayed out of the way and didn’t seem too bothered about anything. And people left, right and centre were snapping away. So I had no qualms about getting my camera out.

Manolo Blahniks. Oh my.

The charm wrapped around the heel, the lattice 
detail and the colour all make me melt a little inside.

These Vivienne Westwoods are not my cup o’ tea but 
they do remind me all of the Creepers all over 
the blogsphere at the moment.

Nikes! Can you imagine Nike Town selling these? I can’t.

Perhaps the weirdest shoes I’ve ever laid my eyes on. 
Not one, but two elevated heels so in theory, quite a 
sturdy pair of shoes. But then check out the weird shape 
of the heels…  And bath shoes? Really? I can’t imagine 
anyone wearing these by the poolside. 
Not even Lady GaGa. 
And that’s saying something.

No explanation needed here! 
Have already shared my thoughts of the Armadillo.

Don’t know about anyone else, but in these I see Litas. 
But really funky, velvety, glitzy / sparkly ones.

These are art. ‘Nuff said.

Simple, classic and yet, no less worthy of interest.

And these? I was lost for words then. And I still am now.

An artsy revamp of the gladiator sandal

A print like this would be amazing on a dress. 

And my favourites:

Alice in Wonderland shoes!
The delicate tea cup charms, 
the key, the fob watch, the 
foliage… all a bit OTT but at 
the same time fabulous 
for this very reason.

Get a load of these! Stunningly beautiful with 
the embellishment detail but just not practical. 
But even those who don't "get" shoes would 
have to admit that these are pure art. If 
Louboutin sell these as flats, I would 
snap these up in a heartbeat,
 no questions asked.

I actually liked these! A good mix of “hard” meets 
“soft” with the glitzy champagne-like colour 
combined with the spiky / studded exterior. 
These would get you noticed!

And now over to you! Do any of these fill you with horror? And which of these are love at first sight?

And for the latter, to wear or to have displayed in your home as expensive-but-totally-worth-it art?


  1. Fun! The green spiky one totally reminds me of Bowser from the Mario games. I think I'm a nerd.

    Most of these are art, in my opinion. I've gotta agree with ya--I think one of my favorites are also the Alice in Wonderland pair. Oh, and I LOVE the wood wedge thing. I see mid-century modern, and I like it.

  2. Wow, some amazingly different styles. Most of these shoes made my feet ache just looking at them and i am sure i would end up in hospital wearing most of them (it wouldn't be the 1st time a pair of heels have put me in hospital too!)

    Georgie <3

  3. Wow fabulous loving all the crazy shoes. Bet it was fab seeing them all. Think I would choose the Red pointy Christian Diors simple but stylish, I'll leave all the others for Gaga xoxo

    Thanks for your lovely comment xx

  4. They must have been even more amazing to see in real life! x hivenn p.s enter my $200 shopbop giveaway?

  5. wow these shoes just wowed me. if i had all the money in the world i would definitely purchase all these unwearable shoes and proudly display them for the sake of art. i love them all!!!


  6. Wow, they're stunning!! True art!! I could wear a few of them, but others are to gaga like, belong in a museum!!

  7. These shoes are amazing, some of them are quite eccentric but of course that is what art is. Thanks for sharing and visit my blog sometimes.

  8. wooow i wish i could see the research behind all of these designs haha i think they are all pretty amazing but the one that makes me go 'OUCCHHH' is the ballerina one.... just how you ment to walk in those? hahahaha xxxxxx

  9. Just discovered your blog and LOVE it! Now following you xx

  10. So adorable shoes <3

  11. Love those Louboutin ballet style shoes. But definitely more work of art than anything else! And I LOVE that last pair.

    I remember getting lost looking for a clothing PR company in London once round Islington I was getting so frustrated. The building didn't have a sign on the door so I couldn't find it!


  12. Ah the first ones are gorgeous, some of them are seriously weird though!!x

  13. Hahah omg, those shoes are absolutely not made for walking! If anyone can walk on those heels, RESPECT! Those shoes are not my kind of stuff haha!
    But it is really nice to see ofcourse!

    Glad you finally found it, it sucks when you want see something and you can't find it!

  14. jeez the louboutin ballet shoes are amazing! I would have loved to see this but didn't even hear about it till now :( x


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