If you love shoes as must as I do then Shoe Obsession the current exhibition at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (MFIT) is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Shoe Obsession, examines our culture’s ever-growing fascination with extravagant and fashionable shoes. In fact, designer shoes have overtaken “It” bags as the most coveted fashion accessories. In response, major stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, a presenting sponsor of the exhibition, have undergone significant footwear expansions. The Sak Fifth Avenue, New York store located on Fifth Avenue features the impressive 10022-Shoe, salon spanning the eighth floor complete with its own zip code.
Shoe Obsession features approximately 150 examples of contemporary footwear, highlighting the extreme, lavish, and imaginative styles that have made shoes central to fashion. Shoes by established designers such as Manolo Blahnik and Christian Louboutin continue to be bestsellers, while the number of rising stars within the footwear industry continues to multiply.
While many 21st-century shoe styles may be perceived as extreme or extravagant, avant-garde designers such as Japan’s Noritaka Tatehana push the envelope even further. An example of Tatehana’s Lady Pointe shoes, a style worn by Lady Gaga in a recent television performance, are also on view.
Although the average American woman owns about 20 pairs of shoes, the collections of true shoe fanatics are vast. As part of the exhibition, Shoe Obsession will feature shoes from the likes of women such as Baroness Monica von Neumann, whose love of exquisite high heels was outlined in the 2011 documentary God Save My Shoes. Daphne Guinness—one of today’s most influential style icons—has also lent a selection of her heels, including extreme examples by Alexander McQueen and Nina Ricci.
Shoe Obsession is co-curated by Dr. Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of The Museum at FIT and Colleen Hill, associate curator of accessories, together with Fred Dennis, senior curator of costume.
A book titled Shoe Obsession, published by Yale University Press, also accompanies the exhibition.
The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology is located at: Seventh Avenue at 27th Street New York City 10001-5992 Museum Hours: Tuesday-Friday Noon – 8 pm; Saturday 10 am-5 pm. Closed Sunday Monday and legal holidays. Admission is free and open to the public. www.fitnyc.edu