October 10, 2012

Human history, and fashion in particular, is filled with all sorts of important reversals, where things that were originally made to go in the back end up in the front. Consider your mom and dad fanny-packing around Europe, for example, with their travel guide and wallet tucked safely under their bellies, or your nephew’s idiot scene bangs reverse mullett hanging in his eyes. Stroll through Walmart, if you will, and take in the splendors of what my grandmother used to call “front bums.” Or how about that period in high school where I was wearing my back pack across my chest because I was desperate for attention, or when cave people invented missionary sex? Let’s not forget the important contribution to the world of fashion from the 90s most important hip hop act Kriss Kross either. Actually, let’s do. The point is, those were game changers every one. But all of those pale in comparison to the latest efforts from a South African art student by the name of Leanie van der Vyver, the designer of these front heels, which, aside from being a critique about the ideals of perfection inherent in women’s fashion and gender roles and whatever, are also a sexy look for people suffering all these years from a grasshopper mutant robot armor fetish with no readily available means to express their desire.

As the Daily Mail reports, “Dutch shoe maker René van den Berg fabricated the wacky design, which landed designer Leanie a nomination for the prestigious Gerrit Rietveld design prize at her university in Holland.”  See more pictures here.

‘I wrote my Thesis about how humans have been playing God with their bodies, constantly searching for the ultimate perfection and I discovered that this perfection has reached a climax in the fashion and beauty industry. Heels can not get higher any higher,’ she said.

‘This design might seem quirky and fun, but it is firstly a critique on how the fashion and beauty industry disregards the human body in it’s constant reinvention of the “new extreme.” The shoes are literally an illustration of what lies beyond this aspirational perfection.

I wanted to ask a few ladies what they thought of the design, and whether or not they would try them out, but then I realized I don’t know any, so I asked my friend to pass along a note to some that he knows for me.
“I can’t wear shoes that aren’t orthopedic,” one said. “If these become trendy I’m ruined.”
“No fucking way, are you kidding me?” said another. “I can barely walk in heels.”
It wasn’t all negative reactions though. “Whoa those are insane,” said a third. “I wouldn’t wear them, but it would be interesting to see them on someone in person. I do love some crazy heels though.”

“Wait, is this a trick to get me to give a reaction,” asked one when she saw the link. Yes, yes it is, in many different ways.

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