Scary Beautiful

Scary Beautiful

Leanie van der Vyver is a recent graduate of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and a nominee for the fine art and design university’s annual thesis award.

And I suspect, in an ironic twist, a major upcoming name in fashion.

Scary Beautiful

The Cape Town, South Africa-born artist’s Bachelor of Design thesis project, “Scary Beautiful”, is a pair of “shoes” fabricated by phenomenal Dutch shoe designer René van den Berg.

Scary Beautiful

As a commentary on the impossible standards of beauty, the backwards-facing, leather shoes have a massive front heel extending down from the shin. The toes are facing backwards at a sharp angle into what looks like a ballet pointe shoe. The objets d’art are accompanied by a video of a young woman strapped into the shoes, weirdly loping across a room. The result is sort of sexy, sort of S&M-y, but completely absurd.

From the Gerrit Rietveld Academie Award Jury report:

“One observes the design forcing the wearer to develop a new way of walking, leaning forward while refining a painfully fragile balance. The jury applauds the way aesthetics, ergonomics and prosthesis merge into an awkward choreography.”

Van der Vyver says, “’Scary Beautiful’ challenges current beauty ideals by inflicting an unexpected new beauty standard.”

Think that’s crazy? What’s your take on neon t-shirts, Ugg boots or the Kardashians?

Scary Beautiful

From her thesis “Playing God”:

“It is human nature to want to be more than what we are, and from the beginning of time we have gone to extreme measures to express on the outside how we desire to be perceived. On the surface, we are physically turning into ideal dream versions of ourselves. Being born a certain way is no longer a life sentence. We can choose exactly who we want to be. What are the possibilities of this new God-like control we have over our bodies?”

Born this way, what?

Van der Vyver confirmed to Yahoo Shine, “Yes, on request I did actually send them to Studio Formichetti for a Lady Gaga music video, but I could not get confirmation whether she actually used them. I did not charge for her to possibly use them. I would love to sell them to a gallery.”

I’m very sure she will. They are already on The Virtual Shoe Museum. But I’d also really love to see these in a dance video. Any stork-themed tunes being released?

Mother Monster in McQueen
The Gerrit Rietveld Academie Award 2012 ceremony will be held on October 25th at Intellectual Playground Castrum Peregrini, Herengracht 401 in Amsterdam. The [S]ELECTED exhibit at Castrum Peregrini features all of the award nominees, and is on display from September 20 to November 3, 2012.