Lena Frank


Untitled // Leather and polyurethane rubber

Heels grew slimmer and higher as designers such as Roger Vivier for Dior rejected the utilitarian fashion of World War II. They aimed for an elegant, modern style for women. Metal reinforced heels, invented in the early 1950s, made extremely high and thin heels such as stilettos possible. In their various forms high heels have symbolized everything from elegance, to sexuality, to rebellion, to female empowerment and wealth. However, nowadays, they are no longer revolutionary and have sadly become little more than status symbols in a consumer society obsessed with designer name tags such as Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo.

A modern ambitious woman is fighting to get ahead in the world. Yet, ironically, she is doing this tottering about in unstable and movement disabling shoes.

The aim of this work is to combine comfort and physical stability with elegant elements. In the design process of this project, high heels were deconstructed; tight points cut open and the high heel removed, the fragile elements of the high heeled heels kept and embedded in a protective, supportive sole. Orthopedic shoes helped illustrate how best to support the foot, but also provided inspiration for some design details.