I have a thing for shoes that goes beyond wearing classically sexy stilettos. Don’t get me wrong, a good pair of d’Orsay peep toes can get me swinging my hips like a metronome, not to mention draw Mr. Tungsten’s eye. However.
The sexiest heels are those are so grossly impractical as to actually preclude the act of walking. I love seeing how truly original shoes they contort women’s feet into all sorts of, if not otherworldly, then decidedly uncomfortable shapes, I have yet to figure out why this is attractive. Maybe it has to do with the understanding that was implicit in the ancient practice of footbinding: if you hamper a woman’s ability to walk, then she can’t run away. I’ve written about my eroticization of this practice before, but not with reference to its modern, Western variations.
Here is a pair of shoes for bound feet. Here is another pair worn by Chinese opera singers when they need to simulate bound feet. Note to self: is it possible to DIY these?
Here are several designs by Noritaka Tatehana, the twentysomething wunderkind who’s not only inspired Lady Gaga, to adopt his style, but made her trip while wearing his creations at the airport. It’s unsurprising. Even the most experienced dancers might have trouble balancing in these marvels.
See. They’re fetish items.
I love how Noritaka’s designs echo the shape of a lotus shoe. In all six of the designs above, they change the angle of the foot so that its print becomes much smaller than the wearer would leave if she wore no shoes at all.
To my knowledge, this last pair hasn’t actually been worn by anyone. It’s not clear if that is even possible. However, as far as sheer audacity goes, these towering testaments to creativity come out ahead. Ballet slippers, witness the end point in your evolutionary journey:
The sky’s the limit here.
Featured and inline images property of Noritaka Tatehana.