Art of the High-Heeled Shoe

Image of Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe
Release Date: 
August 28, 2014
Prestel Publishing
Reviewed by: 

Art of the High-Heeled Shoe is a great coffee table book or conversation piece.”

The timing on the release of this book is impeccable. Anyone who has any knowledge of the current fashion industry knows that one of the largest contributors to its success in the past decade has been the growing importance of shoes and accessories. The star component of this movement has been the high heel or the stiletto heeled shoe.

Keeping that in mind, this book serves as a catalog for the exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum that goes by the name of Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe. It runs from September 2014 thru February 2015, and it traces the origins and history of this legendary symbol of power, femininity, and sex appeal through the ages.

As far as content, the written history and origins of the shoe is a bit too much in terms of detail, but that is to be excused given the book’s dual purpose. The verbiage is a tad too scholarly and not what one usually finds or expects in a book devoted to any area of fashion. The images are superb in terms of quality and representation.

My gripe with the book is simply that there are many more names, brands, and examples that might have been included from the 20th and 21st centuries. It might have been far more interesting to the more seasoned reader to mention names and show examples form such brands as LaMarca or Maud Frizon and Rene Caovilla instead of the usual suspects of Blahnik, Louboutin, Atwood, and Vivier. The real question or flaw may only be how much the reader knows or doesn’t know about the subject matter.

Simply stated, Killer Heels is a great visual history of the shoe that will provide loads of enjoyment, and if the reader is so inclined, a rich trove of information into the shoes’ lineage, symbolism, and importance through the passage of time.

Art of the High-Heeled Shoe is a great coffee table book or conversation piece.