Charlotte Olympia pumps, image courtesy: FIT
Profoundly evolved from the days when footwear was a means of protection, shoes have now surpassed bags and bangles as the new it accessory. Did you know the average American woman owns 20 pairs of shoes? Whether simple or extravagant, stylish chaussures can be the centerpiece of any outfit with stunning, ornate or elaborate fervor. In parallel with the onset of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, comes the opening of Shoe Obsession at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Keep reading for the highlights of Thursday morning's press preview.
A prelude to the main exhibit
One of the widely-anticipated fashion exhibits this Winter, Shoe Obsession features 153 shoes from over 50 designers and collectors. Mainstays of the collection include Nicholas Kirkwood, Christian Louboutin, Roger Vivier, Prada, and Alexander McQueen, among many others. Of the shoes selected for the exhibit, Valerie Steele, Director and Chief Curator of The Museum at FIT says, "Some of them are works of art which you couldn't hardly imagine wearing, but others are works of art that you really would imagine wearing to all sorts of important occasions in your life."
Valerie Steele, Director and Chief Curator of The Museum at FIT speaking with a reporter
Sporting a pair of black Nicholas Kirkwood peep-toe pumps, Ms. Steele comments on the exhibit declaring, "Nothing ordinary. Everything extraordinary." And like the shoes, the creators themselves are quite extraordinary. Of the featured artists, a handful of designers attended today's preview, including Andreia Chaves, Charline De Luca, Masaya Kushino, Marieka Ratsma and Gianluca Tamburini.
Gianluca Tamburini in front of his shoes on display
Gianluca Tamburini takes a minute to pause in front of the shoes from his Conspiracy line. When asked about recurring themes in his creative process, Tamburini responds that his goal as a designer is "to create a shoe that makes you think" and that he enjoys incorporating nature in his designs. Elements of each shoe (color, embellishment) from Conspiracy can be customized and each piece is interchangeable around a sole made of aeronautical aluminum. Included in the exhibit are the Scilla, Biotech, Poisonneuse and Beluga styles.
Charline De Luca provides insight on her designs with Valerie Steele onlooking
Wearing shoes of her own design, Charline De Luca reveals that the influence behind her aesthetic stems from her background in architecture. Having earned a degree in architecture from NYIT and being a veteran of Rome-based Fendi, De Luca branched out to create her first line in 2011. On display is the Zaha shoe from the 2012/13 Winter Collection, under a label of her own name.
Nicholas Kirkwood Alice Spring 2012
All around the Museum, glass cases feature a specially curated selection of some the most extreme, lavish and creative shoes made in the 21st century. Scroll down for a peek at the larger exhibition, but make sure to take a trip to The Museum at FIT before April 13th to experience these artistic wonders firsthand!
Maison Martin Margiela Glass Slipper 2009
Noritaka Tatehana Lady Pointe shoes (designed for Lady Gaga) 2012 // Miu Miu pumps
Noritaka Tatehana Crystal Rose 2011 + Unicorn Thorn 2011 // Christian Louboutin Daffodile Deja Vu Fall/Winter 2012