To create the look of the Zebra Punk Party Dress (which was part of her Spring 2007 Punk collection), Anna Sui combined ripped mesh leggings and armlets, references to Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm Mclaren’s punk fashions of the mid-to-late 1970s. The monochrome zebra print recalls the strict dress color code of the New York clubs that Sui frequented in her youth, such as Max’s Kansas City and CBGB.
Zebra Punk Party Dress is made from Silk chiffon with a nylon petticoat, leggings and sleeves; worn with brass/glass/plastic bracelet by Erickson Beamon for Anna Sui; cowhide boots by Ballin for Anna Sui.
Photographed in the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan.
These Hot Pink custom boots, designed to mimic a pair of cat’s paws, were worn by pop star Katy Perry on her 2014 Prismatic Tour. Created by NYC-based design house The Blonds, the boots were part of a Pink Leopard-Print, Stretch Velvet Catsuit (seen below) worn by Perry onstage.
Photographed in the Grammy Museum in Hollywood, California.
I rarely post cover tunes in this column, but this interpretation of Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walking” — courtesy of Oakland, California-based cross-genre rockers Omnesia — is just too much of a good time to pass up. Calling themselves a Synth Dance Pop Rock Duo, Omnesia creates a lush, organic soundscape based around the significant talents of vocalist Medella Kingston and guitarist Matthias Miller (M2), and it is pretty mind-blowing.
Aurally, Omnesia’s arrangement of this sixties’ classic harnesses the menacing, dirge-y rythmic aspects of the original while revealing an engaging knack for experimentation with otherworldly horn accents. Visually, “Boots” is the perfect blend of artsy and amateurish: with vintage stills of Sinatra and her go-go booted dance posse, live performance clips of the duo onstage, and silly vignettes of Kingston and Miller demonstrating what has come to be known as The Madness Dance, as popularized in that band’s video for the song “One Step Beyond” — a hat tip to Omnesia’s deep-rooted and eclectic musical influences, perhaps. You can tell they had a blast making this video as well, and that makes it even more fun to watch.
“Boots” can be found on Omnesia’s upcoming 14-track release, World On Fire, due out shortly. In the meantime, why not check out their debut album, Painkiller, at This Link! Enjoy!
By the end of the 17th Century, high heels were considered women’s shoes. Indeed, so strong was the connection between shoes and gender that a man wearing high heels could be arrested in New York under a law that forbade people from congregating in public while “disguised by unusual or unnatural attire.” First passed in 1845 to suppress masked political protests, this law was later used to justify the arrest of cross-dressing performers and bar patrons. Many similar laws persisted until the late twentieth century, when changing fashions and cultural norms rendered them unenforceable
Kinky Boots Worn By Actor Billy Porter
Today, high-heeled shoes have appeared everywhere, from boardrooms to bedrooms to courtrooms. They have been called many things: Ultra-feminine, aggressive, provocative, misogynistic, glamorous, fetishistic, immobilizing, erotic, empowering, stylish — just about everything but comfortable.
Gregg Barnes designed these patent metallic leather high-heeled platform lace-up boots in 2013 for the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, which is based on the true story of a struggling shoe factory that survived by producing high-heeled fetish footwear in men’s sizes.
Photographed as Part of Walk This Way: Footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection of Historic Shoes, on Exhibit Through October 8th, 2018, at the New York Historical Society, Located at 77th Street and CPW in NYC.
In the 1930s, companies like Delman and Ferragamo popularized chunky sandals and shoes. The trend continued during and immediately after World War II in shoes produced in materials that were not restricted by rationing, such as cork, woven straw, and wood. British brand Biba proposed platform sandals for women that emphasized the individualistic, expressive flare characteristic of that decade’s fashion accessories — an attitude that men confidently adopted as well. Inventive and sometimes flamboyant, platform shoes were favored by musicians in the late twentieth century. In the 1970s especially, lavish platform boots in bright, metallic, or shiny materials intensified the glamorous look of male pop and rock stars including David Bowie and Elton John. These metallic silver and red leather boots bearing John’s initials were co-designed by Elton himself and Lionel Avery in 1974.
Club Kids wore multicolored platform shoes to raves in the 1990s, and pop sensations the Spice Girls made them fashionable, especially for young women. In the twenty-first century, platform shoes have reached new heights in the work of designers such as Alexander McQueen and Noritaka Tatehana.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Items: Is Fashion Modern, on View Through January 28th, 2018 at The Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
These extremely rare, retro-vintage Hi Brows Boots were worn by one of the GoGo dancers on the 60s-era TV show, Hullabaloo. Made of white vinyl with red and blue vinyl panels and black vinyl piping, the red and blue color block design was inspired by the non-representational paintings of Dutch artist, Piet Mondrian. They are low heeled and below the calf in height, with a back metal zipper at the back. Why these boots originally sold for just a few dollars per pair, they can now fetch as much as $700 or $800 on eBay.
Hullabaloo was a Pop Rock weekly variety show that ran from 1965 to 1966 (two seasons), NS was broadcast on the NBC network. As with ABC TVs Shindig, which began 4 months earlier, this series combined the musical trends of the day, The British Invasion, Detroit’s Motown sound and the merging Folk Rock trend. Unlike Shindig, this series featured a segment from Great Britain hosted by The Beatles‘ manager Brian Epstein, who presented “up and coming” groups. The weekly hosts, at NBC ‘s Burbank studio, included George Hamilton, Roger Smith, Noel Harrison, Paul Anka and Sammy Davis Jr.
The performers, from both sides of the Atlantic, included The Four Seasons, The Beatles, Nancy Sinatra, Gary Lewis and The Playboys, Petula Clark, Barry McGuire, The Kinks, Herman’s Hermits, The Byrds and The Lovin’ Spoonful.
Photographed in the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, NY.
Paula Douglas, also known as Gretchen Fetchen, was one of the early participants in the San Francisco Acid Test happenings organized by Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters in the mid-1960s. The events were designed as gatherings to promote consciousness expansion and creativity through the use of LSD, which was legal at the time.
Gretchen Fetchen’s Acid Test Dress (1965) and painted Orange Leather Boots reflects the Merry Pranksters’ rejection of norms of appearance through the embracing of exuberant Day-Glo colors. The garment also features a star, together with red, white and blue stripes — symbols of the Merry Pranksters.
Acid Test Dress and Boots Installation View. Photographed as Part of the Counter Couture Exhibit, Up Though August 20th, 2017 at the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC