(art)books we love | killer heels

Today fashion is a statement, it has lost his traditional function and meanings. Also shoes as a part of fashion have changed their meaning. Shoes are story tellers! Yes! Ask a woman about the shoes she is actually wearing and she can tell you a whole story about them. If you think, this is crazy, well maybe, but there are some shoes which have a story and they are not just a shoe or a high heel. “The great shoe designer Roger Vivier aptly dubbed one of his most famous creations – a very curvaceous, slim heel – ‘The Virgule’ (‘The Comma’)”, Stefan Tonchi told us in the one and only catalogue about “Killer Heels”.

It’s artbookfriday and today we present you a benchmark of art books: Killer Heels. I already told you about the exhibition “Killer Heels” a several weeks ago. I hope this exhibition will travel around the world… It is a must-see! And the catalogue is a must-have! Nine amazing chapters about heels, heels and heels:

– This is not a shoe (Stefano Tonchi)
– The eternal High Heel: Eroticism and Empowerment (Caroline Weber)
– Revival and Reinterpretation (Lisa Small)
– Rising in the east (Lisa Small)
– Glamour and fetish (Lisa Small)
– Architecture (Lisa Small)
– Metamorphosis (Lisa Small)
– Space Walk (Lisa Small)
– Films (Lisa Small)

The most important question in this context is: Why are women wearing high shoes? The answer is well-founded in the history of wearing shoes. The first “high heel” in the west were platform shoes. The Greeks called them “Kothornos”. Those shoes were worn in theatres, so the audience could see the actress much better. “The elevated shoe gained prominence in sixteenth-century Venice, where it was again pressed into service as a signifier of personal grandeur. Another reason was to keep the feets of the ladies away from the dirty sidewalks. So they wore shoes with 6 to 20 inch plateaus. Incredible! Those shoes called “Chopinen”, they were inspired by the traditional wood stilt-clogs (qabaqib). It’s tradition of the Ottoman Empire. Well, I agree with Caroline Weber. She determines, that those ladies were the first fashion victims.

And the highness of a shoe went along with the social status. “The taller the women, the more flagrantly impractical was her foodwear – and the more exalted, by implication, her socioeconomic standing”, Caroline Weber explains in her essay. Does it change? I think it did, but the association with power and mastery changed too. One of the first associations is maybe the connection between empowerment and sexuality.

Caroline Weber wrote a wonderful essay about the history of high heels – I love this chapter and this art book. So many wonderful photographies of shoes! ❤

#book | Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe

#author | Lisa Small

#publisher | Prestel

#language | English/German

#ISBN | 978-3791353807 / 978-3791349947

#pages | 224

#published | 2014

you can get your copy here English / German.

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