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Strut in style with these 20 bizarre yet high fashion shoes

By Shaeroy Chinoy  June 18th, 2021

Step aside with your crystal sandals, Cinderella! These shoes are not for the faint-hearted girl! She is definitely not coming home as the clock strikes 12:00, and no, she isn’t waiting for her Prince Charming; she wants her shoe back (especially if she owns one from our roundup)!

Footwear has been a form of self-expression since time immemorial. An outfit is often planned around the shoe. With a rise in pop culture and women willing to choose fashion over comfort, footwear designs are getting far more futuristic. Celebrities like Lady Gaga, Cardi B, Ava Max, Miley Cyrus and more have endorsed these custom beauties time and again. From the Armadillo by Alexander McQueen to artists taking inspiration from nature and marine life, shoes have been constructed with materials that were once technically impossible to use.

Wearable or not, from archives to the very fresh, here are 20 masterpieces from brands, collaborative projects and artistic inspirations.

1. Davina India

 

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Walk right into the future with Davina India’s 3D fashion shoes. They come in an array of colours, but this gold certainly caught our eye. Sci-Fi chic!

2. Schiaparelli

 

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Four words. Fashion for your feet!

3. Kermit Tesoro

Photo: Kermit Tesoro

The Filipino designer is known for designing elaborate shoes inspired by environs and wildlife. He uses sustainable materials such as bones and resin. This particular shoe from the Polypodis collection caught our attention. 

4. Alexander McQueen

Photo: Alexander McQueen

This shoe’s distinctive morphing of human and mechanical forms was inspired by the artwork of H.R. Giger, a member of the special effects team for Ridley Scott’s film Alien (1980). A part of the SS 2010 collection, this shoe is 3D printed and painted with resin. Eleven different versions of the ‘Alien’ shoe appeared in Plato’s Atlantis catwalk presentation.

5. Miu Miu X Airmax By Duran Lantink

 

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Duran Lantink is a Dutch designer based in Amsterdam. His playful, inclusive vision for the future of sustainable fashion had him shortlisted for the 2019 LVMH Prize. This Miu Miu x Airmax shoe was designed by mixing his favourite Miu Miu platforms and the Airmax sole.

6. Mugler

 

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Thierry Mugler, known for his outstanding otherworldly designs, has been one of fashion’s most celebrated designers. Creative Director Casey Cadwallader’s vision has catapulted the brand into a new future. No doubt we have Mugler on our radar. 

7. Rick Owens

 

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Rick Owens is an American fashion designer best known for his futuristic and avant-garde design sense. These Kowboy Grill Kiss Proto Platforms are a fabulous statement piece.

8. Ferdinand Cacnio

 

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A visual artist, sculptor, painter, and graphic designer, Ferdinand Cacnio took to designing for the whimsical sculpture exhibit inspired by his wife’s love for shoes. This elegant creation by him is proof enough that shoes could be art too. 

9. DIDU  

 

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Available in a wide range of colours, these DIDU shoes are a perfect mix of fun and aesthetic design. DIDU is rooted in both Antwerp and Shanghai. The brand is built on the concept of high-quality materials mixed with subversive culture and modern craftsmanship. 

10. Datt

 

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The Sculpture Shoes by Datt are perfect as slip-on heels. The shoe is made from pure silver and copper. 

11. Neon Cowboys

 

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Neon has been a trend that is here to stay! Incorporating neon lighting into a pair of shoes aesthetically is, well, pure genius. The iconic “Out Past Midnight” boots were named after Cinderella.

12. Gucci

Photo: Gucci

The Gucci Jacquard platform sandal was showcased as part of the Cruise 2020 collection in Rome. True to the brand’s aesthetic, these are a perfect blend of comfort and vintage style.  

13. Kira Goodey

 

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Kira Goodey specialises in genderless handmade heels. This London-based designer has revolutionised the way we look at shoes. Seen here is the laser cut thigh-high boots by Kira Goodey on musician Cariss Auburn. 

14. Winde Rienstra

Photo: Winde Rienstra | Photographer: Jay Zukerkorn

Winde Rienstra’s work is a beautiful mix of fashion, art and architecture. Central to her work is the feel for materials. These particular heels made of bamboo and cable ties were displayed at the Killer Heels exhibit in Brooklyn Museum in New York. 

15. Christian Louboutin

Photo: Christian Louboutin

The show is a tribute to traditional Himalayan flowers and a wink to Christian’s love for flowers and horticulture. The shoe is a part of the LouBhoutan collection to explore traditional Bhutanese royal craftsmanship in 13 magnificently hand-sculpted and hand-painted pieces.

16. Elizaveta Litovka

Photo: Elizaveta Litovka

For this Ukrainian artist and photographer, inspiration is found in all places. From a bell pepper to a dust mop, she converts them into intriguing footwear.  

17. Iris Van Herpen

Iris Van Herpen has set global design standards time and again with a unique approach to fashion. These masterpieces from her Hacking Infinity collection in collaboration with shoe designer Noritaka Tatehana are a vision. 

18. Louis Vuitton

Photo: Louis Vuitton

Characterised by its exaggerated, sculptural shape, the Puffy platform pump comes in padded black calf leather with a wide strap in Louis Vuitton’s iconic Monogram canvas. This directional, minimalist style was created by artistic director Nicolas Ghesquière, taking references from Danish wooden shoes. Though chunky in appearance, this pump is extremely lightweight.

19. Valentino

Photo: Valentino

The Valentino Haute Couture platform heels are a pop stars dream. Think Lady Gaga and Cardi B! They promise to uplift even the most boring outfit in your closet. 

20. Ica & Kostika

Photo: Ica and Kostika

Ica and Kostika was established by footwear designer Ica Paru and architect Kostika Spaho. The duo runs their studio as a fashion footwear brand pioneering computational design and mass customisation. The Mycelium Shoes are a wearable shoe sculpture inspired by the radial growth of the mycelial branching from mushrooms. The streets need these!