Book Review: Shoes, Shoes, Shoes: The Autobiography of Alice B. Shoe

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes is a slim, practically pocket-sized collection of drawings, prints, and watercolours of shoes – real and imagined – by Andy Warhol. It’s comprised of forty images pulled from the archives of the artist’s foundation for the visual arts, each accompanied by an enigmatic Warhol quip.

While his ruminations on beauty and the president are amusing, the shoes are the real stars here. The collection spans Warhol’s career, from his famed stint as an advertising illustrator in the mid-50s, to a painting of paratrooper boots completed in 1985. Though there is no order to the presentation, drawings from his earlier period dominate. This is a good thing – it’s where the book draws its humour and warmth. Like Untitled (Fantasy Shoes) from 1956, here Warhol presents the ultimate tap shoe – carnation yellow, spiked heel with a little faucet protruding from the back.

Then there are, of course, the shoes he drew for his clients, most famously, the I. Miller Shoe Company. Warhol wasn’t a stickler for accurate dimensions and measurements, opting instead of present the shoes as magical, whimsical objects of desire. He often uses gold leaf flowers or medallions to punctuate a simple kitten heel. In Dial M for Shoe, Warhol turns a high-heeled Mary Jane into something vaguely resembling Third Reich paraphernalia by lithographically adding fold birds and flowers to a red strap.

Shoes takes but a few minutes to flip through. It probably won’t teach you anything. And it’s small, so you might lose it. But leafing through its pages may very well lead you to contemplate why “sometimes something can look beautiful just because its different in some way from the other things around it.” That was Warhol, fyi.

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Bulfinch Press, 1997
reviewed by Sara Forsyth (originally published in Worn Fashion Journal Issue 8 )

I Just Called to Say I Love Shoe

After the big night we had Saturday, everyone at WORN may be forgiven for suffering from some residual delirium, which probably helps explain the immense glee we derived from the process of titling our first batch of pictures from the event, now up on our Flickr feed. We spent a good portion of the afternoon inserting the word shoe into song titles…

Never Gonna Give Shoe Up
Say Shoe, Say Me
I Want Shoe To Want Me
Shoe’s Come Undone
Shoe Can’t Always Get What Shoe Want
I Get a Kick Out of Shoe
I’ve Got Shoe Under My Shin

Got any more?

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The Long and the Shoe of It: A Thank-You Post

It hardly seemed possible, but last night, after months of planning, stress, and shameless self-promotion, the SOL[e]D! party happened. Now, it’s no secret that WORN readers are a stylish bunch, but the steady stream of fabulous that came through the doors at the Bata Shoe Museum to celebrate and support the launch of Issue No. 8. was the stuff of legend. In keeping with the evening’s theme, the collection of footwear was divine, from thigh-high lace-up boots (you know who you are!) to sky-high stilettos and everything in between. Dresses were saucy and hats were haute. The men gave Jon Hamm a run for his money. To every person who attended, thank you for your support, without which this publication would not exist.

When time came for the live auction, the crowd rose to the challenge and intrepid auctioneer Amanda MacDonald handled the room like a pro. Thanks to all of you who bid for helping make our fundraiser a success, and congratulations to all of you who won your bids – you walked away with some really beautiful, one-of-a-kind work. The Shake a Tail DJs capped the night with excellent music and it was great to see all our staff together (especially our senior editors who came from Montreal and New York), celebrating an evening they worked so hard to bring together.

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S-MOOCH! Announcing the Great Shoe Giveaway Winner

You are a wonderful bunch of moochers. I sent out the call and you rose to the challenge admirably. Picking a winner was harder than I thought. Everyone who responded had something to recommend them and, before I name the new owner of my pretty shoes, I want to start with some Honourable Mentions and favourite quotes:

Well done Martin for being first out of the gate, and for wanting these for someone else. Your describing your friend as having “superb taste” was lovely. (Why don’t we use the word superb more? It’s so deliciously swishy.) Props to Eline for offering this gem: “Also these are my size… and I love you?” The question mark made me laugh out loud. Likewise to TC, for shamelessly appealing to my desire to promote WORN. (Oh, you know me well.) Heidi, your offer to take photos was extremely tempting. I would hope our winner will do just that.

Hailey, you came very close indeed, with your plaintive and eloquent despair over being forced to wear terrible shoes to work. I loved the idea that the wedges would “bring beauty and glamour and pearly, suede-y joy to [your] otherwise dreadful repertoire of summer footwear.” Your photo proof was a brilliant touch. I have added one here as the images themselves were fantastic and worthy of repost.


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