Zaha Hadid X United Nude. “NOVA,” 2013. Chromed vinyl rubber, kid napa leather, fiberglass. Courtesy of United Nude. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn. Chromed vinyl rubber, kid napa leather, fiberglass. Courtesy of United Nude. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn

Designers included in Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe
Tamar Areshidze
Steven Arpad
Brian Atwood
Susan Bennis/Warren Edwards
Rosanne Bergsma
Manolo Blahnik
Richard Braqo
Isabel Canovas
Andreia Chaves
Christian Dior
Dolce & Gabbana
Salvatore Ferragamo
John Fluevog
Tom Ford
Jean Paul Gaultier
Georgina Goodman
Zaha Hadid X United Nude
Julian Hakes
Pierre Hardy
Iris van Herpen X United Nude
Marc Jacobs
Nicholas Kirkwood
Aoi Kotsuhiroi
Masaya Kushino
Chau Har Lee
Beth Levine
Christian Louboutin
Kerrie Luft
Martin Margiela
Alexander McQueen
Miu Miu
Charlotte Olympia
André Perugia
Tea Petrovic
Cat Potter
Winde Rienstra
Yves Saint Laurent
Iris Schieferstein
Elsa Schiaparelli
Zuzana Serbak
Christian Siriano
Victoria Spruce
Walter Steiger
Noritaka Tatehana
Rem D. Koolhaas
René van den Berg/Karin Janssen
United Nude
Viktor & Rolf
Roger Vivier
Atalanta Weller
Vivienne Westwood
Pietro Yantorny
Giuseppe Zanotti


One of the most provocative and iconic objects of desire will be explored in the exhibition Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe, on view at the Brooklyn Museum September 10, 2014, through February 15, 2015.
Through more than 160 artfully-crafted historical and contemporary high heels from the seventeenth century through the present, the exhibition examines the mystique and transformative power of the elevated shoe and its varied connections to fantasy, power, and identity. 

Posted 9 September 2014

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Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe will be organized in six thematic sections—Revival and Reinterpretation, Rising in the East, Glamour and Fetish, Architecture, Metamorphosis, and Space Walk—encompassing early forms of the elevated shoe, architecturally-inspired wedges and platforms, razor-sharp stilettos, and shoes that defy categorization.

Christian Louboutin. “Printz,” Spring/Summer 2013–14. Courtesy of Christian Louboutin. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn

French. Shoes, 1690–1700. Silk, leather. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1906 (06.1344a, b). Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY

The exhibition also features six short films inspired by high heels that were specifically commissioned for this exhibition from artists Ghada Amer and Reza Farkhondeh, Zach Gold, Steven Klein, Nick Knight, Marilyn Minter, and Rashaad Newsome.
The objects, both traditionally made and conceptual in nature, explore and play with the elevated shoe’s sculptural, architectural, and artistic possibilities.
Early shoes on view include mid-seventeenth century Italian chopines made of silk, leather, and wood, European leather and metal pattens from the eighteenth century, and nineteenth-century cotton and silk embroidered Manchu platform shoes from China.

Other highlights of Killer Heels are Marilyn Monroe’s Ferragamo stilettos (1959); stiletto mules of silk, metal, and glass by Roger Vivier for House of Dior (1960); and a wool “heel hat” made by Elsa Schiaparelli in collaboration with Salvador Dalí (1937–38).
Contemporary heels in the exhibition include “Printz,” from Christian Louboutin’s Spring/Summer 2013–14 collection; Céline’s fur pump (2013) covered in mink; a black leather platform bootie with an 8-inch heel designed by United Nude for Lady Gaga (2012); and several other designs made in collaboration with United Nude, such as Zaha Hadid’s chromed vinyl rubber, kid nappa leather, and fiberglass “Nova” shoe (2013); and Iris van Herpen’s 3-D printed heel, “Beyond Wilderness” (2013). 

Chinese. Manchu Woman's Shoe, 19th century. Cotton, embroidered satin-weave silk. Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum Collection, 34.1060a, b. Brooklyn Museum photograph

French. Boots, 1900–1920. Leather, cellulose. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Alfred Z. Solomon–Janet A. Sloane Endowment Fund, 2007 (2007.57a, b). Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY

Italian. Chopine, 1550–1650. Silk, metal. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Herman Delman, 1955. 2009.300.1494a, b. Brooklyn Museum photograph, Mellon Costume Documentation Project, Lea Ingold and Lolly Koon, photographers

Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe is organized by Lisa Small, Curator of Exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, and will present works on loan from both established and emerging designers and fashion houses, including Manolo Blahnik, Chanel, Tom Ford, Zaha Hadid X United Nude, Pierre Hardy, Iris van Herpen X United Nude, Nicholas Kirkwood, Christian Louboutin, Alexander McQueen, Prada, Winde Rienstra, Elsa Schiaparelli, Noritaka Tatehana, and Vivienne Westwood, as well as works from the Bata Shoe Museum and the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that include classic shoes by André Perugia, Pietro Yantorny, Salvatore Ferragamo, Roger Vivier, and Beth Levine.

Read on the glass shoes by Georgina Goodman in collaboration with Max Jacquard in Glass is more!>

Chau Har Lee. “Blade Heel,” 2010. Perspex, stainless steel, leather. Courtesy of Chau Har Lee. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn

A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition and will include essays by Lisa Small; Stefano Tonchi, Editor-in-Chief of W Magazine; and Caroline Weber, Associate Professor of French at Barnard College and author of Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution. The exhibition will travel to venues to be announced.
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Iris van Herpen X United Nude. “Beyond Wilderness,” 2013. Courtesy of United Nude. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn

Rem D. Koolhaas. “Eamz,” 2004. Courtesy of United Nude. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn

Winde Rienstra. “Bamboo Heel,” 2012. Bamboo, glue, plastic cable ties. Courtesy of Winde Rienstra. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn

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