Kind of funny that the Brooklyn Museum is mounting an exhibit honoring the high-heeled shoe as an artistic and architectural object at the very moment when many fashion designers and editors are declaring the stiletto and its ilk dead, dead, dead. Had the museum already planned the exhibition when the (famously fickle) fashion world declared sneakers and Birkenstocks, the height of uncool a mere 6 months ago, as the only footgear a fashionista should ever venture out in?
After all, news has surely reached Brooklyn that Karl Lagerfeld sent every single model in his Fall 2014 ready-to-wear show for Chanel (you know, the one set in a faux supermarket) down the runway in sneakers or trainers. And the museum curators must occasionally pick up a fashion magazine, in which they could hardly avoid seeing “athletic” shoes of one sort or another for half a grand and up from Versace, Marc Jacobs, Gucci, and on and on and on. (Well, OK, you can pick up a pair here and there for 200 or 300, if you don’t care what you look like.)
Or did the museum decide that a beautiful object retains its beauty (and its historical interest; did you know, for example, that men used to wear high heels?) even when the It Girls (perhaps motivated by their aching feet) have decided to spurn it?
Whatever the reason, “Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe” looks like a fun show. You’ll see 160 shoes—contemporary ones lent from design houses such as Manolo Blahnik, Chanel, Christian Laboutin, Salvatore Ferragamo (modern re-inventor of the platform shoe) and even the architect Zaha Hadid (that is one out-there shoe, lemme tell ya) and also historical ones (from the museum’s vast costume collection). Stop by if you’re in Brooklyn anytime from September 10, 2014, through February 15, 2015. And wear your Birks.