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Open This Week: "Killer Heels" at Brooklyn Museum's Robert E. Blum Gallery
The Brooklyn Museum's latest exhibit "Killer Heels" explores fashion’s most provocative accessory. From the high platform 'chopines' of 16th century Italy to the glamorous stilettos on today’s runways and red carpets, the exhibition looks at the high-heeled shoe’s rich and varied history and its enduring place in our popular imagination. As fashion statement, fetish object, instrument of power, and outlet of artistic expression for both the designer and the wearer, throughout the ages the high-heeled shoe has gone through many shifts in style and symbolism. Deadly sharp stilettos, architecturally inspired wedges and platforms, and a number of artfully crafted shoes that defy categorization are featured among the more than 160 historical and contemporary heels on loan from designers, from the renowned Brooklyn Museum costume collection housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and from the Bata Shoe Museum. Designers represented in Killer Heels include Manolo Blahnik, Chanel, Salvatore Ferragamo, Zaha Hadid X United Nude, Iris van Herpen X United Nude, Christian Louboutin, Alexander McQueen, André Perugia, Prada, Elsa Schiaparelli, Noritaka Tatehana, Vivienne Westwood, and Pietro Yantorny. Photo 1: Winde Rienstra. "Bamboo Heel," 2012. Bamboo, glue, plastic cable ties. Photo 2: Roger Vivier. "Virgule Houndstooth," Fall 2014. Calf hair. Photo 3: Chinese Manchu Woman's Shoe, Qing Dynasty, 19th century. Cotton, embroidered satin-weave silk. Photo 4: Walter Steiger. "Unicorn Tayss," Spring 2013. Photo 5: Rem D. Koolhaas. "Eamz," 2004. Photo 6: French Shoes, 1690–1700. Silk, leather. Photo 7: Salvatore Ferragamo (Italian, 1898–1960). Platform Sandal, 1938. Leather, cork. Photo 8: Italian Chopine, 1550–1650. Silk, metal.
Milan Fashion Week Recap: Prada Vs. Pucci
What do Prada and Emilio Pucci have in common, besides being iconic fashion giants of Italy? An ability to deliver quirky and clever boldness throughout classic collections that remain in our minds years after their showing? An affinity for carefully-utilized color and print to look smart and not gaudy? Both Massimo Giorgetti for Pucci and Fabio Zambernardi (filling in for Miuccia Prada this season following her Aunt's passing, but absolutely channeling the Miuccia aesthetic) turned out Spring 2016 collections that looked retro and also totally new and cool. Smart Stripes Both designers used sophisticated stripes in their collections with a very different effect from the bright and bold stripes of other collections. Despite Prada's funky and retro stripes, their use in smart suits that any woman would want to wear made them appear much more understated and cleverly placed. Similarly, Pucci stuck with simple black, white, and navy stripes in diagonals, crossing over the body to divide up a garment, with a classic effect. Retro Ecclecticism Both lines layered dresses over tops and used embellishments to help guide the funky and retro layering into something luxe. Sequins, beads, and paillettes all made appearances in the two collections, used sparingly to blend old-school quirky lines with the designer luxury feel we expect from Prada and Pucci. What They Did Differently Despite Pucci's reputation for using colorful prints on anything and everything, it was Prada that really used colorful stripey prints for the majority of the collection rather than Pucci. The combination of prada's thin and choppy stripes with layered embellishments ultimately produced something undeniably sophisticated and chic, especially when used in more mature silhouettes than Pucci's, with suits and shift dresses intricate but wearable. What They Did Differently Pucci had a nautical theme running that was met with mixed reviews, especially surrounding Giorgetti's recent role at the long-standing label. Netting met with sequined fish and sea creature embellishment, which had a playful and unique effect that you either love or hate. This feature was undeniably different from anything Prada would put down the runway, good or bad.