23 posts tagged "Roger Vivier"
What is it about women and shoes? According to Dr. Valerie Steele, the director and chief curator of The Museum at FIT and the author of Shoes: A Lexicon of Style (among many other fashion books), the fixation dates back to Cinderella and her glass slippers. But that doesn’t necessarily explain women’s willingness to defy death, gravity, and blisters with the super-stacked platforms and needle-thin spikes of modern day. Shoe Obsession, The Museum at FIT’s upcoming exhibition (which, running from February 8 through April 13, was curated by Dr. Steele, Colleen Hill, and Fred Dennis), explores the female shoe fetish via some of the most iconic, outrageous, and exceptional styles that have come out this century.
Including shoes from established houses (Christian Louboutin’s Pigalle stilettos, Roger Vivier’s feather Eyelash pumps, Prada’s flame shoes, and Chanel’s gun heels), up-and-coming talents (Nicholas Kirkwood’s graffitied Keith Haring platforms, Charlotte Olympia’s Kiss Me Dolores pumps), and experimental designers (Masaya Kushino’s sculptural human hair, Cyprus wood, and lace platforms; Noritaka Tatehana’s eighteen-inch ballerina shoes), Shoe Obsession presents every type of high heel you can imagine—and several that you can’t. Here, Dr. Steele talks to Style.com about the fascination with extravagant shoes, the evolution of contemporary footwear, and the upcoming exhibition.
Let’s cut to the chase. Why are so many women obsessed with shoes?
Well, I think there are a couple of layers. First off, shoes are an intimate extension of the physical body. And they seem to say a lot about our personality, our sexual attitudes, and our social status. And high heels in particular seem to be the focus of a lot of our thoughts about gender, sexuality, eroticism, and femininity. I think there’s definitely an element of sexual fetishism involved in men’s fascination with women’s high-heel shoes. But for women, I think it’s not fetishism so much as it is an obsession with fashion and with shoes as the ultimate sartorial symbol of erotic femininity.
Have women always been obsessed with shoes, or was there a point in fashion history when the infatuation really took off?
It goes way back to Cinderella. Shoes have played an important role in cultural thought for a long time. In Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo?, a film from the sixties about French fashion, there’s a wonderful scene when a TV reporter is interviewing some pompous French sociology professor who says that the Cinderella story is all about the importance of tiny feet and beautiful shoes. Then he says, “So there you are: fetishism, mutilation, pain. Fashion in a nutshell.” [Laughs] But I do think that our show is unique, because we’re not just looking at the social and psychosexual reasons why we all love shoes. We’re focusing on the twenty-first century and calling attention to the fact that in the last twelve years or so, after the end of Sex and the City, the obsession with high-end designer shoes has spread from something that only a few people were really obsessed with to being something that everybody’s obsessed with.
Why have heels risen to such hilariously high heights in the past few decades? And what dictates heel height?
I think the key element there is the acceptance of hypersexual shoe design as part of fashion, as opposed to just a corner of the pornographic industry. Before he died, Helmut Newton said in an interview that in the seventies, you had to go to fetish and porn stores to get the kind of shoes he wanted for his fashion photographs. But by the early nineties, he could go to any high fashion designer—Chanel, Dior, they were all doing fetish-y shoes. So that’s one thing, which I think is crucial to the recent growth of heels. Another is the popularity of platforms on shoes. If you’ve got a two-inch platform, automatically your heel can go from three to five inches, or from four to six, or whatever you want.
What makes women willing to shell out so much money for a pair of shoes that they may or may not be able to walk in?
Part of it is that shoe shopping is probably the highest form of fashion shopping. It’s the most pleasurable. I mean, who doesn’t look good in a pair of beautiful shoes? And compare it with something like bathing-suit shopping, which is the nadir of horror. Also, you can get a lot more fashion bang for your buck with a pair of shoes. You know, it might be a thousand dollars, but if you’re going to buy a jacket or a dress by that same or a comparable designer, you’d be talking three, four thousand dollars or up. And right now, people are, in a way, dressing in more of a uniform. For instance, many people just wear a well-cut pair of jeans and a great black jacket. But with shoes, they can play and transform themselves—they can change the style image that they’re creating. Continue Reading “FIT’s Foot Fetish” »
In the days leading up to the Golden Globes, L.A.-based celebrity superstylist Elizabeth Stewart is giving Style.com an exclusive behind-the-scenes account of what it takes to dress Hollywood’s hottest starlets. This season, she’s working with Best Actress nominee Jessica Chastain, Les Misérables star Amanda Seyfried, Julia Roberts (who’s presenting), and Cody Horn on their red-carpet looks. Below, Stewart gives us a glimpse at the last leg of her styling process, and, of course, shows us the actresses’ final looks.
Friday, January 11
I start the day with Cody Horn so we can find her Globes dress. As usual with Cody, it’s the first one we try on. We try some more for good measure (here she tries a Ralph Lauren classic black gown with a vintage YSL necklace). There is Ana sewing in the background!
Then I meet Freida Pinto at the Roger Vivier suite to do a quick fitting and pull some shoes and bags. Freida loves color and is always telling me about great Indian designers. Here, we’re having a laughing fit with Anne Crawford from Vivier (we all get punchy this time of year) and selecting bags with Denise Kim from Vivier. We grab lunch while we are there. The PRs have come to realize that if they don’t feed us stylists, we don’t have time to eat!
Next, I meet a designer downstairs who has flown in with Oscar sketches. Then I head home to meet Kristin Davis, dropping off some shoes to Salma Hayek for her Globes dress on the way. When Kristin Davis comes by, we sit on the floor and gab while choosing bags. I’ve styled her for 12 years, people! That’s a lot of history. I love how she is intently studying this Vivier bag. That’s the one! Youssef Marquis from Givenchy happened to come by at the same time. Those are his feet.
Saturday, January 12
D-day: the day before the Globes! It starts off with some serious multitasking. Here I am making pancakes for my son, Ben, and his friend Diego, while simultaneously communicating with Jessica Chastain, who is packing in NY, and texting with the moms at my daughter Ivy’s volleyball tournament, which I am missing. They are winning at least!
First stop of the day is Amanda Seyfried’s. Youssef from Givenchy has flown in her Globes dress and his tailor Ana (my tailor is also named Ana!). We fit the dress, try Fred Leighton jewelry that Katie pulled while we were in NY, and Youssef shows off the shirt Riccardo Tisci made for him. It has Youssef’s puppy on it! We also squeeze in a quick SAG fitting and look at sketches. Continue Reading “Red-Carpet Ready: Elizabeth Stewart’s Golden Globes Diary” »
The icon that is Marilyn Monroe is having (yet another) fashion moment. Last week, Chopard exhibited never-before-seen prints of the late actress during its holiday party, and now, she’s re-emerged as the inspiration behind Bruno Frisoni’s Limited-Edition Rendez-Vous collection for Roger Vivier. “Marilyn is the essence of femininity whilst embodying sexuality,” said Frisoni of his muse. “It is my hope that I have created a collection that can express the innocent yet sensual nature that Marilyn does so well.”
The designer’s limited edition accessories, like sequin and lace heels and an exploding poppy clutch, have a certain delicate-meets-saucy allure. But it’s the rosebud handbag, garnished with a bright pink smooch, that feels the most “Marilyn.”
Frisoni notes that the house’s history also provided a few notes of inspiration, particularly the prism shape, which he describes as a key emblem of Roger Vivier. “I wanted to give a fairy-tale accent and a little extreme luxury to our most iconic pieces,” said Frisoni. It’s hard to get more luxe than the designer’s crystal-covered prism clutch, which, along with the rest of the range, will make its international debut in Roger Vivier’s Miami boutique on December 15. The traveling collection will land in New York on January 8.
For the first time ever, Roger Vivier is debuting a collection of bags and shoes without the brand’s signature buckle: Prismick. Instead, the label’s creative director, Bruno Frisoni, used leather-on-suede appliqués in a variety of colors for a 3-D effect, a look that was inspired by his passion for art and contemporary architecture. To show off the Prismick collection, Roger Vivier asked stylish women around the globe, including Amanda Hearst (top), Fernanda Niven (middle), and Bettina Prentice (below) to pose with one of the new pieces in the setting of their choosing. (Hearst opted for the Brooklyn Bridge; Niven for an organic garden in Brooklyn; and Prentice at Haunch of Venison Gallery). The three will be on hand tonight in New York to launch the portrait series at Vivier’s Madison Avenue store. Their compatriots from farther afield will be on display, too: Photographers also shot Marta Ferri, Fatima Bhutto, Harumi Klossowski, India Mahdavi, and more in the U.K., Italy, France, and the Far East. Continue Reading “Around The World In 80 Bags” »