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Oh, Roger!
Sabrina Maddeaux curates a selection of Roger Vivier shoe porn

Fact: your shoes are more likely to survive the apocalypse than you are (unless you buy from Aldo, then they might not make it through next week). In 2004, when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) sponsored a Return to The Titanic expedition, the ship’s victims had long since decayed into nothingness– yet underwater robots captured pictures of shoes still intact on the ocean floor. Many Holocaust memorials display shoes of concentration camp victims to remind us of lives that once were. Despite their modern day SATC-rap as objects of extreme frivolity, shoes are objects of great anthropological, political, and artistic importance.

Roger Vivier, known for his bejeweled and elegantly sculptural shoes, was one of the first post-WWII shoe designers to bring artistry and femininity back to footwear. When he became the shoe designer for Christian Dior in the 1950s, Vivier’s creative vision and early training in sculpture at École des Beaux Arts resulted in unique heel and toe silhouettes like the stiletto and comma heels. His richly ornamented shoes were often called “the Fabergé of Footwear.” In 1994, the 86-year-old designer signed a licensing agreement that allowed him to open his own boutique in Paris.

From May 9, 2012 until April 7, 2013, The Bata Shoe Museum will exhibit a collection of Vivier’s drawings, pull-overs, and finished shoes in Roger Vivier: Process to Perfection. The collection is a must-see for the sort of footwear fanatic who finds looking at shoes through glass boxes a lot more interesting than I do.

To celebrate the art of sole (excuse the bad pun–I have allergies and am rather preoccupied with trying not to sound like the office truffle pig), I’ve curated this selection of Roger Vivier shoe porn for you to enjoy.



Roger Vivier for Dior, 1957

Bruno Frisoni for Roger Vivier Limited Edition Rendez-Vous Collection, Fall 2012

Bruno Frisoni for Roger Vivier, Spring 2010

Bruno Frisoni for Roger Vivier, Spring 2010

Roger Vivier for Princess Soraya of Iran, 1962

Roger Vivier Mimosa Thigh High Boot, embroidered by Lesage

Bruno Frisoni for Roger Vivier, Spring 2009

Bruno Frisoni for Roger Vivier, Fall 2010

Bruno Frisoni for Roger Vivier, Spring 2011


Sabrina Maddeaux is Toronto Standard’s style editor. Follow her on Twitter at @sabrinamaddeaux.

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