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Museum exhibit showcases the love of high heels

New York City’s Brooklyn Museum has opened a special exhibit called ‘Killer Heels’, aimed at providing an historical account and celebration of the high-heeled shoe. According to the organisers, ‘Killer Heels’ presents a history of the shoe from its beginning as a signifier of class to its present-day artistry and association with femininity. Shoes from different eras are on display, and the collection shows pieces from some of the biggest names in footwear, including Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Manolo Blahnik, Miu Miu, Salvatore Ferragamo and Vivienne Westwood.

“I never realised you could put so much historical significance in a shoe,” said one visitor to the exhibition. “I’m a history major and, as a historian, you don’t really think of shoes as being that vehicle to communicate anything from the past.”

Innovative use of technology is celebrated in the showcase, which features 3-D printed heels, as well as examples made of fishing wire, glass, metal, plastic and other unconventional materials.
Interaction with attendees is an important element in the ‘Killer Heels’ display. Visitors are able to describe how they view the symbolism of the high heel. Audience reactions are posted throughout the exhibit, and include such comments as ‘beautiful’ and ‘powerful and sexy’, as well as ‘painful’ and ‘too high’. The exhibition will run until February 15th.

Photograph shows Vivienne Westwood’s 1993 ‘Super Elevated Gillie’ – one of the many shoes on display in the ‘Killer Heels’ exhibition.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 6 of the November 2014 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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