HAMLET [to one of the Players]: By'r lady, your ladyship is
nearer to heaven than when I saw you last, by the
altitude of a chopine.
|Italian Chopines (ca. 1550-1650)|
"Platform shoes called chopines, like these made of exquisitely decorated cork or wood, were fashionable in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italy. They are often described as having been worn to keep women’s garments from touching the dirty streets. Recent scholarship suggests, however, that they were worn as part of conspicuous public displays of wealth and status. Higher chopines meant that gowns required more expensive, sumptuous fabrics to reach the ground. Some chopines were as high as twenty inches."
Several shoes were shown with their apparent inspirations - e.g., gilded baroque furniture with heels that were gilded and baroque - but my favorite was this one which looks both playful and wearable:
|Salvatore Ferragamo. Platform Sandal, 1938. Leather, cork.|
This one is “an early twentieth-century example of the sandals worn for centuries by women in bathhouses of the Ottoman Empire to elevate their feet above the wet floors”:
(Syrian) Sandal, 1920’s. Wood, mother-of-pearl.
“Architect Julian Hakes applied his experience in engineering and bridge design to the design of a high heel… he wrapped his foot with tracing paper and masking tape to investigate the biomechanics of the foot.”
|Julian Hakes, Mojito (2012)|
|a front angle so you can see the heel grip|
|Interesting engineering of the elevation, though I suppose|
it's fundamentally the same shape as a normal shoe...
at least, where it actually touches the foot.
|Iris Schieferstein, Horse Shoes 3 (2006)|
|Christian Louboutin, Déj à Vu (2011/12)|
|Beth Levine / Herbert Levine Inc., Slingback Shoe (ca 1962)|
|I thought this one was very beautiful as well. Not wearable, necessarily...|
|Tamar Areshidze, Walking on Water (2012)|
Afterward, since I was wearing sneakers, I strolled around the rest of the museum a bit.
|Baleen Whale Mask, 19th Century. Vancouver, B.C.|
|Miyashita Zenji, Flower Vase, 1995.|
|"Re in the form of a cat, slaying the serpent Apep, Book of the Dead, Chapter 17"|
circa 1190-1075 B.C.