Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe

April 11, 2015 - Comment

This gorgeous book explores the fashion world’s most coveted and iconic object–the high-heeled shoe. Killer Heels explores the rich cultural history of the high heel and its relation to power, fantasy, sexuality, and identity. More than 160 spectacular contemporary and historical shoe designs–from sixteenth-century Venetian platforms to twenty-first-century Christian Louboutins–play with the cultural and artistic

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This gorgeous book explores the fashion world’s most coveted and iconic object–the high-heeled shoe. Killer Heels explores the rich cultural history of the high heel and its relation to power, fantasy, sexuality, and identity. More than 160 spectacular contemporary and historical shoe designs–from sixteenth-century Venetian platforms to twenty-first-century Christian Louboutins–play with the cultural and artistic possibilities of the high heel, use innovative or unexpected materials, and push the limits of functionality and beauty. Complementing the shoes are stills, sketches, and artist statements for six films specially commissioned for the exhibition from Ghada Amer and Reza Farkhondeh, Zach Gold, Steven Klein, Nick Knight, Marilyn Minter, and Rashaad Newsome that explore a range of provocative themes and demonstrate the power of the high heel in the collective imagination. In addition, several of the designers included in the exhibition (including Brian Atwood, Zaha Hadid, Pierre Hardy, and Christian Louboutin), along with Elizabeth Semmelhack, Senior Curator of the Bata Shoe Museum, contribute thoughts on topics such as their inspiration and design process, and the cultural significance of high heels. This collection of killer heels is filled with stunning photos and fashion lore.

This book accompanies a traveling exhibition:

Brooklyn Museum 
September 10, 2014-February 15, 2015

Albuquerque Museum
 May 30-August 9, 2015

Palm Springs Art Museum, California 
 September 4, 2015-January 3, 2016

Currier Museum of Art, 
 Manchester, New Hampshire
 February 5-May 15, 2016