Art: What’s New: Fashion & Contemporary Craft

“It’s gotta be the shoes,” Nike’s 1980s Air Jordan ads marveled. And if you ask Cincinnati Art Museum curators Cynthia Amnéus and Amy Dehan which of today’s fashions stand the test of time,

click to enlarge Iris Van Herpen's "Fang Shoes"
Iris Van Herpen's "Fang Shoes"

“It’s gotta be the shoes,” Nike’s 1980s Air Jordan ads marveled. And if you ask Cincinnati Art Museum curators Cynthia Amnéus and Amy Dehan which of today’s fashions stand the test of time, they too point to shoes — at least those in What’s New: Fashion & Contemporary Craft. 

The “Fang Shoes” by Dutch designer Iris Van Herpen are fierce. Each sole features 10 shiny black teeth molded out of fiberglass and carbon fiber. A single fang suggests the sexiness of a spike heel, but a full set appears to provide the stability of a hiking shoe. It’s the guys who’ll be wobbling when they see these lace-up booties that are the color of dried blood. The fuzziness of the pony fur upper is the only hint of vulnerability.


Such innovation and experimentation are at the heart of this exhibit, which showcases more than 20 recent additions to the museum’s fashion and craft collections. All the items were made since 1950. 


What’s New: Fashion & Contemporary Craft continues through Jan. 19 at the Cincinnati Art Museum. More: cincinnatiartmuseum.org.


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