Monday, April 2, 2012

Bio-Art: Hooved Shoes et al.

A little personal entry, this time: Ever since last semester, I have been interested in making wearable shoes out of real cow hooves. I still need to get some heels, some red fur, and a good way to cut solid, thick keratin, but the hooves I spray-painted gold are at my current apartment. Yes, I will make them into shoes that hopefully look fabulous; my last attempt at this was a spectacular failure. The only reason I ever go shoe shopping of my own volition is to make crazy art.

That said, I'm not the one who did shoes using real animal hooves first. The unofficial queen of hoof shoes is German taxidermist Iris Schieferstein. She loves mixing taxidermy and this:


Schieferstein's first pair of hoof shoes were made of horse hooves. Although not as impressive as her pair of cow shoes, these are still pretty neat.  They cost around 5,500 USD, though, and can only be worn for a couple of hours.


The "Vegas Showgirl" hoof shoes use cow hooves, fur, and toy pistols. They look snazzy, but I doubt they're actually wearable.  Apparently the horse ones are, however, so I would totally give these a shot. Someone with 12 years of creative taxidermy experience has to know how long they last, too.

If hooves are not your thing, how about doves?


Schieferstein has also done full-body snake mounts on shoes. Just sayin'.

He come to town (credit).

The idea of hoof-like shoes has since caught on in the fashion world. There have been shoes that I can only describe as "camel toe" showing up. Designers like Alexander McQueen made 'hoof shoes' that really look more like platforms with a narrow toe than actual hooves. One German company, Kronier, at least has the ankle length required for hooves about right. When designers start using actual animal parts in their works, then I might listen. Until then, I am avoiding all heels not made with real hooves.

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