UPDATE: Following its successful debut at Brooklyn Museum, as well as a stop at Albuquerque Museum, Killer Heels has traveled to Palm Springs Art Museum, where it will remain on view through December 13, 2015.
It’s hard to think of a fashion accessory as celebrated as the high heel — or as reviled. The shoes of royalty and street walkers alike, the objects of devotion are getting the retrospective treatment this fall at the Brooklyn Museum. Through 160 items, Killer Heels examines the transformative power and provocation of the elevated shoe.
Historically noteworthy are 17th-century Italian chopines made of silk, leather, and wood, as well as 19th-century cotton and silk embroidered Manchu platform shoes from China. Twentieth-century examples range from a wool “heel hat” by Elsa Schiaparelli in collaboration with Salvador Dalí (1937–38) to Marilyn Monroe’s Salvatore Ferragamo stilettos (1959). Contemporary standouts include Christian Louboutin’s spring 2013 collection; Zaha Hadid’s chromed vinyl rubber and fiberglass “Nova” shoe for United Nude; Iris Van Herpen’s 3-D printed heel; Céline’s fur pump covered in mink; and footwear by Manolo Blahnik, Chanel, Tom Ford, Pierre Hardy, Iris Van Herpen, Alexander McQueen, Prada, Noritaka Tatehana, and Vivienne Westwood.
The exhibition also features six short films commissioned for the exhibition from Steven Klein, Nick Knight, Marilyn Minter, Zach Gold, Rashaad Newsome, and Ghada Amer and Reza Farkhondeh.
Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe, Brooklyn Museum, Sep 10, 2014 – Feb 15, 2015