Category: Entertainment / February 8, 2013 7:02 PM EST
Talk about shoes to die for. A collection of some of the world's most coveted fancy footwear sashayed into New York on Thursday (February 7) at a special exhibit curated by The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).
The "Shoe Obsession" show features sky-high stilettos, towering platform shoes without heels and shoes sporting outlandish touches such as a ponytail of human hair. Reuters Television took a look at the collection at a sneak preview on the first day of the Fall 2013 runway season for Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week in New York.
"High heels are probably the prime sartorial symbol of femininity. And so they have a particular importance for women. Women are also, I think, very attracted to the way shoes can inject a lot of fashion into the wardrobe," said Valerie Steele, the director of the museum at FIT.
A pair of silver Manolo Blahnik shoes worn by the actress Sarah Jessica Parker on the television show "Sex and The City" and Lady Gaga's one-of-a-kind monstrously high ballet slippers without heels were among the most extravagant and extreme shoes in the collection.
Women's shoes by other famous designers, including Christian Louboutin, Alexander Wang, Roger Vivier and Prada, were among the most prominent shoes on display, while up-and-coming designers also took their turn in the spotlight.
"It's very interesting. Shoes have become - heels have become much higher since the 90's. And shoes have become much sexier. I think it's part of, a kind of, a culturation, where we've gotten used to things that in the past would have just been in fetish shoes. And now they have becoming incorporated into high fashion shoes. So a very, very high narrow heel, bondage straps around the ankle. All kinds of, sort of, erotic paraphernalia, are just now part of a sexy shoe," Steele told Reuters Television.
With about 150 shoes on display, it was difficult for Steele to select the most interesting shoe among the collection.
Shoes by Japanese designer Masaya Kushino proved that women's footwear can be a work of art.
His "Wind Horse" shoe was inspired by an opera where the horses played a major role. He designed the shoe to blend the characteristics of horses and people.
The shoe stands out because it the designer used handcrafted wood from Kyoto, a type of Japanese traditional leather called "shironameshi" that was used to make armor in the past, and human hair for the shoe's ponytail. Kushino also used a lacquering technique to coat the base of the shoe.
But these shoes are definitely not made for walking.
"I am very confident that people will love how these shoes fit when they wear them. It depends on types of shoes, but I don't see the importance of comfort in terms of walking with them. I would rather focus on a feeling of excitement people have while standing or sitting in them. It is probably hard to walk in my shoes for long hours anyways," Kushino said.
From haute couture shoes to footwear bordering on works of art, the Museum at FIT's "Shoe Obsession" collection will open to the public on Friday (February 8). It will be on display until April 13.
(Video Source: Reuters)