It’s Electric! Boogie Oogie Oogie in the United Nude x Iris Van Herpen Spring 2013 Voltage Booties
Over the past few years, architecturally-minded footwear brand United Nude and experimental Dutch fashion designer Iris Van Herpen have worked together to show that, not only is there beauty in the bizarre but, quite often, the type of pulchritude that results from the unorthodox is all the more fascinating than that stemming from the commonplace. To that end, the two brands have worked together to create such memorable designs as the Crystallization booties, featuring intricate and bondage-like lacing; the Fang booties , featuring calf hair uppers and comma-shaped, tooth-like heels made of fiberglass and carbon fiber; and the Synesthesia booties, featuring an imposing, lobster claw-like heel. The most recent design in the ongoing collaboration is the United Nude x Iris Van Herpen Voltage bootie shown above — which, as has been the norm with previous styles, manage to convey a sense of movement and kinetic energy.
These avant garde shoes made their debut last week at Iris Van Herpen’s haute couture show in Paris, which featured a performance coordinated by New Zealand artist Carlos Van Camp in which a man dressed in a black body stocking awaited audiences in a dimly lit hall and, once the lights were turned on, his figure lit up vigorously and almost frightfully, as if bolts of lightning were cursing through his body. This performance, then, captured the notions that inspired Van Herpen’s Voltage collection: from the concept of electricity itself to the idea of light and dark, energy and movement. And since Van Herpen loves strong, imposing designs, it was key that this performer appear to be in full control of the electricity seemingly raging through his body, as if following in the footsteps of comic book superheroes like Thor and Storm.
Made of handcrafted leather, the United Nude x Iris Van Herpen Voltage booties harmonize with the concepts that inspired the designer’s haute couture collection. Featuring a hidden, built-in platform and an almond-shaped toe, these ankle-high boots feature malleable, V-shaped, wing-like strips of leather placed into a vertical row along the vamp, their pointed ends hovering above the uppers as if suspended in the air. This same effect, similar to the cross-hatching pattern one sees on pal tree trunks, t is captured along the heel which, while slimmer than those of previous United Nude x Iris Van Herpen shoes, features the same inward-sloping curved shape. The sides of the boots, meanwhile, feature V-shaped diagonal pleats. The zigzagging lines and the predominance of angles in the boot’s design stand as a nod to the branch-like network of jagged lines that we associate with lightning bolts. The result is well, electrifying!
The Voltage booties will be available this spring on UnitedNude.com. Stay tuned for more details!