Sky-High “Front Heels” Teeter on the Edge of Fashion

The "Scary Beautiful" shoes look more torturous than fabulous when worn

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Lyall Coburn / Courtesy of Leanie van der Vyver

It was going to take something truly otherworldly to top the ridiculous footwear that runway models pranced in during Fashion Month. Prada debuted minimalist leather-and-ribbon foot gloves, while Céline preempted Mitt Romney with a pair of Big Bird-like heels and also went meta with a new style of foot shoe. After all of that, the only way for designers to go was up. And so they did.

Behold “front heels,” clothespin-looking shoes that are probably equally as enjoyable (read: painful) to wear. A creation by artist Leanie van der Vyver and Dutch designer René van den Berg, the “Scary Beautiful” shoes require the wearer to bend the knees forward and walk rather ungracefully, like a foal or Forrest Gump before he ran off his leg braces.

(PHOTOS: The 15 Most Ridiculous Trends from Fashion Month)

Photographer and videographer Lyall Coburn indicated that awkward aesthetics of the heels serve as a commentary on the limits and definitions of beauty on her Vimeo page.

“Humans are playing God by physically and metaphorically perfecting themselves. Beauty is currently at an all time climax, allowing this project to explore what lies beyond perfection,” she wrote. “Scary Beautiful challenges current beauty ideals by inflicting an unexpected new beauty standard.”

The shoes display both the ultimate ideal of beauty and the extreme means one must take to get there. If a woman looks sexiest in a towering stiletto, then theoretically higher should be better. But these heels are towering, and the only way to wear them is to essentially turn the entire shoe backwards. In the same way that a “perfect” face is achieved through invasive plastic surgery or a beautiful ballet dance is enhanced by toe-crushing en-pointe shoes, the “Scary Beautiful” heels pointedly (no pun intended) skewer modern beauty conceptions.

The front heels evoke the look of the Alexander McQueen “armadillo” heels seen on provocative fashionistas like Daphne Guinness and Lady Gaga. These are likely more of an high-concept idea than a marketable design, but should they become available, Gaga will likely be game to take a hobble.

50 comments
CuervoJ
CuervoJ

@ConsumerSheek ACL tears on the rise

Zeyn1111
Zeyn1111

Ouch! is what comes to my mind as well!

scallywag
scallywag

Which is perhaps another way of saying sometimes art and common sense see eye to eye, pity most fashion and common sense do not…Of note though is the model’s attempt to appear unaffected or chagrined by the shoes which in some level is an apt description of most women’s resilient need to wear shoes that us men cringe at the sheer sight of.

http://scallywagandvagabond.co...

cnk2012
cnk2012

Pretty sure we wiped out polio to prevent people from having to walk like this....

Freida Alass
Freida Alass

The video is hilarious. Imagine watching someone walk down the street in them? Bet GaGa is the first and only person to try hobbling around with these things on.

EMC2
EMC2

There's a reason the model in the photo is SITTING!

EMC2
EMC2

There's a reason the model is SITTING  in the photo! Ha!

magdalena48
magdalena48

The video is absolutely insane.  Why would you WANT to look crippled amp; deformed?  I don't get it.  http://vimeo.com/45024704#

54StarryNights
54StarryNights

The last time I saw anything walking around like that it was in a lagoon trying to spear a fish with its beak.

joy
joy

The model actually looks like she's crying. What strange fashion is this? Can you imagine what this does to your back?

54StarryNights
54StarryNights

Normal stiletto heels are as hideous a fashion statement as foot binding was in China.  It appears the designers of these new torture devices are simply trying to point that out.  I hope they are successful in getting their point across.

SilentBoy741
SilentBoy741

“Scary Beautiful challenges current beauty ideals by inflicting an unexpected new beauty standard.”

So "nutjob" is the new beautiful.  Got it.

Scott Allen
Scott Allen

More trends of clueless ones who think some of this garbage called "high fashion" actually is beautiful.  How many of those stupid outfits they show actually get worn?  Not many, and what happens to many of them when worn?  They end up on the "20 Worst dressed list". 

Margret Louk
Margret Louk

Dumb, Dumb, Dumb.  The only thing dumber is someone who would wear them.

LormanRockwell
LormanRockwell

Thank god Leanie van der Vyver and Dutch designer René van den Berg came along to grant the wishes of all women who wanted their feet to look like giraffe legs. 

endinyal
endinyal

Okay, is this a subtle way of saying that women should never drive a car, let alone get in one?

webyourstuff
webyourstuff

I want to see a video of her walking in them!

JuliaDeSotoRossi
JuliaDeSotoRossi

Guaranteed to keep podiatrists, orthopedic surgeons amp; emergency rooms in business.

Clifford Chase
Clifford Chase

More nonsense from the fashion industry.  Derelicte'

lilyq
lilyq

Ugliest things I've ever seen.

SilentBoy741
SilentBoy741

Yeah, but when you kick a guy in the junk, he *stays* down.

rushthis
rushthis

Watch the video. They can barely move

Deborah Culmer
Deborah Culmer

Obviously a commentary on the extremes of "beauty" frm ridiculous heels to anorexia to extreme corsetry. By making something so obviously not beautiful, but in fact, scary, they are turning the definition back on itself. 

adam_ro
adam_ro

These seriously look like they would break your leg. That can't possibly be good for your shins...

loverpoint
loverpoint

Hint #1 the person wearing them is being paid to wear them and smile. If you were to buy them in a store there would be a warning label " these shoes can be hazardous to your health"

Tracy Lupejkis
Tracy Lupejkis

She's not smiling. She had to get to the chair somehow.

Tyler Bridges
Tyler Bridges

Umm cool? I guess if you like these shoes and you wear them, then at least your following your heart and your passion. If you're in the LA area this Friday head to West Hollywood and our store on Robertson Boulevard for our 1st anniversary party on October 12th! http://www.kleinepsteinparker....