Sole Desire: History of Heels Exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum

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I have always been one to smirk at the word “shoe-gasm”—until I experienced several this past weekend at the Brooklyn Museum’s newest long-term exhibit, Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe. The exhibit, which opened on September 10th and will remain until February 15th, takes museum-goers through the history of the illustrious history of the iconic shoe, from its very inception in the days of 16th century court life, to its most recent manifestations on celebrities and runways alike. Sure, the display is more than educational—it explains that heels were first worn by Persian men, as a way to prevent their shoes from slipping out of their stirrups. Fascinatingly enough, the heeled shoe spread to Europe as the ultimate masculine accessory. But the heel quickly evolved into a symbol of status and nobility, and of course, soon women took over the trend. The rest, as you know, is very fashionable history.

 

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Some of the oldest shoes at the exhibit included several delicate pairs of chopines from the Italian Renaissance—platform shoes initially created to help women keep their skirts off the dirty streets (some chopines could reach the incredible height of 20 inches. Fierce.) Along the same vein, the exhibit also has several pairs of heels from Eastern and Asian countries, including Chinese platform slippers from the 19th century, miniscule heeled slippers for bound feet, geta (Japanese wooden flip-flops with a platform made of two vertical boards), and a curious pair of Persian sandals on a foot-high platform, meant for wear in bath houses to avoid getting the feet wet.

 

 

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But at some point the educational aspect stops—and you’re simply exposed to the most jaw-droppingly beautiful pairs of shoes ever created. Jeweled heels, incredibly sharp stiletto points, bulky platforms, lace and feathers and silk and beads… It’s a feast for the eyes that includes both the whimsical and the practical, the architectural and the sexual. At some point, the heel becomes eroticized, fetishized—a highlight of the exhibit is definitely a video of Betty Page walking in a pair of heels so high that she looks as if she’s on pointe (conveniently, a similar pair of ballerina heels by Louboutin is displayed in a nearby glass case).

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Overall, the exhibit is a gem filled with gems—Marilyn Monroe’s signature black Ferragamo pumps reside next to a pair of black leather boots with golden figures climbing on it (custom made for Lady Gaga’s fragrance release). Glass slippers are in the same room as a pair of heels made from actual horse hooves and a pair of heels so agriculturally aware that the heel has a mechanism that releases plant seeds into the ground as you walk. Manolo Blahnik is neighbors with Prada and Chanel; Roger Vivier and Vivienne Westwood both have groundbreakingly modern takes on the heel.

 

 

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Ultimately, the girl’s best friend becomes more than just the best part of her closet at Killer Heels—the high heel simply becomes a work of art with a rich history of distinction, experimentation, and deep devotion from its adoring cult of fans.

All photos from The Brooklyn Museum
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by Sasha Henriques

Editor’s Corner: Arianna’s Things

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We don’t know about you guys but we’re just about ready for this warm weather to get the heck out so the sweaters, knee socks, and boots can have their stage time. But that hasn’t stopped us from doing some major fall stress shopping. This weekend, we’re featuring Arianna Friedman, our Lifestyle Editor this season. Check out her things because they are bomb (and she is just SO. FUNNY. Pardon my fangirling).  ~ Nancy

 

 

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Just wow. I can confidently say that I follow absolutely none of the math that went into making this map, but you don’t need to understand algorithms to appreciate this interactive infograph. It gives structure to something so vast and seemingly intangible. I wish I were that smart.

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Pic Stitch
True confession: I am a pic stitch bitch. I’m obsessed. Haters gonna hate, but let’s be honest, if someone took the time to make you a pic stitch collage for your birthday, you would more than heart it. Nobody has ever made me a pic stitch birthday collage, but then again, I have never made a collage for anyone either, only these repetitive mosaics.
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Astra Taylor’s research deconstructs hidden flows of capital behind seemingly democratic social platforms. It’s fascinating. You should read it.

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– Radiolab

Sorry not sorry, Ira. Radiolab picks more though-provoking topics than This American Life. If TAL is a nicely plated grilled cheese with gruyere, then Radiolab is the grilled cheese with jalapeño jack that fell on the ground so now you’re deciding how valid the five-second rule is in this context (just eat it). My daily commute to class is a leisurely 15 minutes one way (10 minutes speed walking), so I usually get through at least one episode a day. Some other favorites are Good Job Brain (a weekly offbeat trivia podcast) and Freakonomics.

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Those Theo chocolate bars they sell at Liz’s Place

I’m all about trying unconventional food. Last year I went through a bug phase (I mean, nothing big, like I ate a firefly larva–it was one time). Now it’s chocolate and Theo has a whole line of weird combinations. I’ve found that the curry chocolate and the gingerbread spice chocolate taste pretty much the same. The chili dark chocolate is underwhelming. I should probably start a blog about this. Ok, I will– boom.

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Arianna Friedman on insta & twitterother places

Music Musings // Spotlight on FKA Twigs

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FKA Twigs is a British singer-songwriter who received widespread recognition last year after the release of two hypnotic and visually intriguing music videos. The 26-year-old recently released her first album, LP1, this August.

Twigs began her career as a dancer, saying that black and white movies and ballet lessons were more formative for her than listening to music. But when she started to discover new electronic instruments, what she calls her “sonic palette”, she began to create haunting songs that are uniquely beautiful and probably unlike anything you’ve ever heard.

FKA twigs is notorious for the ethereal quality of her music: a mixture of synth and electro-pop. She is also hugely engaged in the creation of performance-art pieces to illustrate how she feels about her songs.

When it came to releasing her album, FKA twigs served as the artist and executive producer. These roles allowed her to reveal more about herself and bring her words to life. Her videos are particularly intriguing: they are like a portal into her own mind, especially her video release of the song ‘Two Weeks’, which is a glittery optical illusion. 

 

 

Twigs has a fast growing fanbase. LP1 was just shortlisted for the Mercury Prize Album of Year Award. In addition to gaining recognition for her music, Twigs has also become a fashion icon, recently posing for the cover of i-D Magazine and Dazed and Confused.

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Luna de Buretel

Editor’s Corner: Andre’s Things

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Aside from feeling the crushing seismic waves of exams and trying to ignore the pervasive ebola headlines, we’ve been ramping up ideas and concepts for this semester’s issue. On top of all that, we’re also getting our Halloween game on with some costume brainstorming so get ready to play dress up with us.  This week’s Editor’s Corner features the ever-so-dapper Andre’, our other co-editor-in-chief. We really really dig his hats. ~Nancy

 

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– I’m a guy who believes in a good cologne. I’m currently rocking Tokyomilk’s Bulletproof. This scent is my clutch. It’s smoky and woodsy while still being light and refreshing.

 

 

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Andre Benjamin is starring as Jimi Hendrix in the biopic Jimi: All By My Side. I recently went to a showing at the Sunshine Cinema in the Lower East Side. I’m a huge Jimi Hendrix and Andre Benjamin fan, so I definitely had to check it out! I could never pass the opportunity to see fly 60’s threads and listen to Hendrix beats. Highly recommended.

 

 

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Virgil Abloh is a forced to be reckoned with at the moment. He serves as Kanye West’s Creative Director, is a co-owner of conceptual retail experience RSVP gallery, and can be seen partying with everyone from the likes of Theophilus London to Riccardo Tisci. His most recent menswear collection “Moving Still” was released at Copenhagen Fashion Week over the summer. It’s mad groovy. I wish I could afford some of this stuff, but hey, a guy can dream.

 

 

 

– Bumping lots of FKA Twigs these days. Her mysticism is super sexy.

 

 

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– I’ve been using the Dash app which has graciously allowed me the opportunity to expand my NYC restaurant palette and led me to Jacob’s Pickles. (Sidenote: iPhone apps can change your life) I love biscuits and a good beer and Jacob does it all right. I’ve already been back three times since my first visit. They have buttermilk pancakes served with fried chicken topped with fresh bacon bits and homemade maple syrup… ’nuff said.

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Andre’ Fuqua on insta & tumblr

Music Musings // Art & Song Pairings

As much as we love a good wine and cheese pairing, we also enjoy a solid art and music combo. Here are a few to ease you into the new week. Wine recommended.

 

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Cold Beer Beautiful Girls by Ed Ruscha & Robson Girl by Mac Demarco

Mac Demarco’s music has quite a chill, “slacker rock” vibe, which suits the words in Ruscha’s painting perfectly. Kind of makes you want to travel back to the carefree days of summer, doesn’t it?

 

 

 

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Untitled by François Henri-Galland & Toothpaste Kisses by The Maccabees

The soft paint strokes, pale pink tones, and embracing figures in Henri-Galland’s painting evoke nothing but romance. So does ‘Toothpaste Kisses’, with its wooing melody and sweet lyrics.

 

 

The Teenage Gaze

 

The Teenage Gaze by Petra Collins & Palo Alto by Devonté Hynes

Moodiness, angst, and the ups-and-downs of teenage-hood are all themes of Petra Collin’s photography and the soundtrack to the film Palo Alto. So it’s no surprise that these two things would work well together! It’s a total coincidence that the girl’s pose in Petra’s photograph mirrors the Palo Alto movie poster… Or is it?!

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Ella Viscardi on insta & tumblr & blog

 

 

 

 

 

Editor’s Corner: Krista’s Things

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Welcome back! We know, we know. We’ve been back for a while. Over here at HOOT, it’s been a tad bit crazy post fashion week but we’re finally settling into the new season. If you haven’t noticed, we’ve given both the blog and the website a facelift! Some things are still a work-in-progress so if any changes happen, you know why. We’re really excited for this year even though you might be less thrilled at this very moment with the wrath of midterms descending as we speak. In any case, to kick off your weekend, here are a few things that our lovely co-editor-in-chief, Krista, has been super into lately. (Like, how fab does she look here?!)~ Nancy

 

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- I’ve been obsessed with The Apartment by The Line since they opened, especially the way they show their products in stories and make e-commerce a creative place for storytelling. While they definitely cater to an audience that isn’t being supported by their parents/working and going to school full time, if you ever want some serious classic and minimal inspiration, head over to their site or their store in SoHo, which is actually an apartment where everything is shoppable. A good compilation of their summer stories was just released for the coming of autumn.

 

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- I want everything in the new Coperni Femme collection (who am I kidding, I want everything from the two collections they’ve had). It’s the perfect mix of 60s, 70s, and 90s, so basically my perfect mix of decades. They won the ANDAM Prize, a French award given to a great first collection, so you know they’re going to be super big super soon (& hopefully collector’s items at some point?). Now I just need to stop by Opening Ceremony and see if I can actually afford anything.

 

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- The inevitable mid-summer breakouts started a mild obsession with finding the perfect skincare products for my uber sensitive skin (I’m allergic to sunscreen and too many preservatives to know which ones), and have discovered the two best things EVER: mud and oil. My favs are Josie Maran Cleansing Oil and Aztec Bentonite Clay Mask (which stings like crazy and leaves my face red and blotchy at first, but the next day my skin is the happiest skin of all of the skins).

 

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- I started Murakami’s newest book, The Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, while dropping my little bro off at college this summer, and am finally getting around to finishing it. I don’t know what happens yet, but Murakami is the best easy to read, yet beautifully written, and profound author for a short break between readings that must be discussed at a certain time every week.

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- Ana Kraš recently had a show of her drawings at Ed.Varie gallery, which I missed because #skewl, but now I can’t stop imagining her beautiful drawings hanging on my walls. The second best thing is her Instagram @teget or getting some paper and crayons and getting creative in a different way on my own.

 

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Krista Anna Lewis on insta & tumblr & other cool places

Christian Siriano Spring/Summer ’15

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Perhaps the best-known winning designer of the Project Runway set, Christian Siriano’s been a success since debuting his first collection at NYFW six years ago. Upon entering the Eyebeam Art+Technology Center, one of my personal favorite show venues, I saw a series of doorway-like frames in the center of the runway, setting the tone for the night’s emphasis on structure and layers. Every look was pretty and feminine, starting with clean whites and.. Read More

Ricardo Seco Spring/Summer ’15

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For his Spring/Summer ’15 collection, “Dreams,” Ricardo Seco elegantly infused a mostly monochromatic palette with colorful accents and beaded patterns inspired by the Wixárika, an indigenous tribe in his home country of Mexico. These rainbow beads composed geometrical and natural motifs on everything from jackets to bags to stakeboards – even a custom guitar. Seco, usually a menswear-oriented designer, had an equal showing of womenswear, which felt naturally complementary to his men’s designs. Outside.. Read More

Maria ke Fisherman Spring/Summer ’15

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When Madrid-based Maria ke Fisherman showed this season at The Standard High Line, it was clear that designers Victor Alonso and Maria Lemus had refined and updated their vision. The label previously known for its cyberpunk futuristic take on the 90s left behind its nostalgic lens, instead focusing on a more modern interpretation of streetwear. Cleansed of the bright colors of previous collections, this season’s palette was mainly restricted to black and white,.. Read More

À MOI Spring/Summer ’15

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Á Moi is a young luxury brand, based in New York and created by designer Alejandra Alonso. Alonso is unproven, with just a background interning at brands like Nicholas K. and Anna Sui, but I had high hopes after seeing the aesthetic upon which the collection was based. I arrived at the S/S 2015 presentation at the High Line Hotel, a classic, stylish venue with a large hall where the models were lined on.. Read More

Cynthia Rowley Spring/Summer ’15

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Cynthia Rowley is certainly no stranger to the fashion industry, having been a designer for over thirty years. But something about her youthful style has managed to transcend the barriers of time, and even after thirty years, her clothes continue to remain fresh, trendy, and full of life. The crowd, which included fashion editor extraordinaire Natalie Joos and musician/artist Sean Lennon, was positively buzzing before being let into the Swiss Institute, the gallery.. Read More

Karolyn Pho Spring/Summer ’15

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Karolyn Pho may be a newcomer to New York Fashion Week—this is her fifth season and only her sophomore runway endeavor—but this young designer has already established a strong sartorial voice, one of ethereality, comfort, whimsy, and above all, functional beauty. Citing a traveling nomad as an inspiration for her collection, the presentation’s main theme was minimalism: Pho shied clear of complicated pieces of clothing, instead sticking to summery, flowing sundresses, crop tops and.. Read More