Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Shoes Return

The inevitable has happened: in her faun-hoof platforms, Lady Gaga has fallen down.  How does this not happen all the time, you ask?  I know not.  The woman looks built to spill.  How do you get back up once you fall in those shoes?  I'm not sure it's possible without assistance.  Where is she getting these ridiculous pieces of footwear?  I can tell you: Noritaka Tatehana.  MTV Style profiled the Japanese designer and for some reason I'm intrigued enough by the idea and construction of these shoes to relay that information to you.

Tatehana's heel-less shoes (in case you need to buy a pair for everyday use, homecoming, or your relative's wedding) will set you back some $2,500-4000  and have a staggering height of 9.1 inches.  If I wore those shoes, I could play in the NBA.  Granted, my legs would probably snap at the ankles if I tried to jump in those shoes, but that's not really the point of the shoes, is it?  I'm also pretty sure, actually, that the sort of rate of ascension involved in standing up in those shoes would cause altitude sickness and I would be collapsed on the floor within minutes.  Just like last time I went to the mountains.  Oh, frailty.

Where was I?  Yes.  Tatehana is, by the way, a 25-years old who just graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts.  Just graduated!  Like, this year!  That guy got basically the biggest break a fashion student can get right now, and he did it through e-mail!  This kid sent an e-mail to Nicola Formichetti (a stylist in Haus of Gaga) and presto!  Instant international pseudo-fame. 

The most interesting bit, however, was the section on Tatehana's inspiration for the shoes.  He had this to say in the interview:
"I am interested in history and in the old culture and would like to divert them into modern world. The unique and creative shape comes from "Kan Pokkuri," which used to be clogs made of empty cans. In the old days, Japanese children used to make these clogs, passing a cord through holes made in the cans. After placing each foot on a can, they tried to walk, holding the cord in their hands."

I had assumed that design had its roots in certain geisha styles and foot binding practices, but this particular reference is rather neat.  I maintain, however, that they look above all like faun hooves.


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