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July 21st, 2009

Too Many Shoes? Go Miniature!

Photo taken at the Maryhill Museum of Art.Seeing the incredible exhibit of Theatre de la Mode fashions at the Maryhill Museum of Art has me thinking more and more about fashion as art.  Personally, I choose comfort if given the choice between killer fashion and killer pain, but I’m beginning to see why some women strap on incredibly fierce (and incredibly uncomfortable) shoes for a few hours now and then.  (Call me a dork if you will, but I don’t encourage it! Wearing poorly fitting shoes, especially for long stretches, definitely causes foot health problems.) Miniature shoes offer all of the art of fierce heels–without any of the pain. Today, I’m exploring the world of miniature shoes, both from the Theatre de la Mode exhibit and the many websites that offer collectible miniature shoes.

The shoes from the Theatre de la Mode exhibit represent one reason why people make miniature shoes: to represent their full-size counterparts.  As in sculpture,  architecture, and interior design, shoe designers may create a smaller version of their final products.  Doing so allows the artist/designer to get a better feel for how the full-size shoe will look and be constructed.

Minis from Maryhill

Minis from Maryhill

Of course, the designers represented in the Theatre de la Mode had additional motivation:  they created miniature shoes because materials were difficult to attain after the destruction ofWorld War II.  Shrinking the fashion scale allowed Paris’ top designers to exhibit their work in a time when the world was hungry for beauty but short on stuff. The detail in these tiny shoes are incredible, especially for the time.  You can see just how miniature these Theatre de la Mode shoes really are by reviewing the top photograph of a pair of shoes being held– those hands look huge in comparison!

Many people today enjoy collecting similarly detailed, incredible miniature shoes.  Collectors typically gather just the right shoe of their favorite shoe styles. A stiletto lover will be attracted to a five-inch version of their favorite spike heel, for instance.  Display cases are available–some also in the shape of shoes.  As I browse the plethora of sites that offer miniature shoes for sale, I’m struck with how many are designed for a specific event, like an engagement.  There’s even a miniature shoe for survivors of breast cancer!  As a shoe fetishist, I think a miniature shoe makes a great gift– and (bonus!) they doesn’t take up nearly as much space as regular shoes.  (Mine are spilling out of my closet as it is!)

If you’re hoping to find a way to reuse all of those extra full-size pairs, check out our post on crafts using old shoes.  If, on the other hand, you’d like your regularly-sized shoes to appear more miniature, here are a few minimizing shoes from the Shoefly collection.  They’ll make your feet seem smaller– and leave you feeling like you’re walking on air.

These shoes will make wide feet seem skinnier. The heel and slingback are also minimizing.Union by Diego di Lucca: These shoes will make wide feet seem skinnier. The heel and slingback are also minimizing.

Peer by Charles David: Showing more skin on the top of your foot is slimming.  Dark colors and heels are also minimizing.

Peer by Charles David: Showing more skin on the top of your foot is slimming. Dark colors and heels are also minimizing.

Tiffany by Cynthia Rowley:  Accents like bows and buckles make feet appear bigger, so this shoe is perfect for those who hope to follow the gladiator/aggressive shoe trend without making their feet look huge.

Tiffany by Cynthia Rowley: Accents like bows and buckles make feet appear bigger, so this shoe is perfect for those who hope to follow the gladiator/aggressive shoe trend without making their feet look huge.

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