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'Killer Heels' Strut Into The Frick

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Whoever said "Walk a mile in my shoes" could not have been talking about the shoes on display at an exhibit called "Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe" at the Frick-Pittsburgh in Point Breeze.

"We have 147 pairs of shoes," says venue curator Sarah Hall. She adds that the quirky examples of almost-wearable art are divided into six different themes.

"Within each section, you have historic shoes paired with really contemporary, even outrageous, cutting-edge shoe design," Hall explains. "It begins with a section called Revival and Reinterpretation, looking at how designers in the present day look to the past for inspiration.

"It moves into a section called Rising in the East, looking at Asian influences on shoe design. Glamour and Fetish has all the sort of really out there, extreme thigh-high boots and kind of boudoir and bedroomy kind of edgy shoes. And then we have Architecture -- a lot of those shoes are actually architect designed.

"In the Metamorphosis section, we look at shoes as transformative objects. We wind up with a section called Space Walk, which really looks at sort of futuristic materials, a lot of metallic and transparent shoes."

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High-heeled shoes actually began in the 18th century. Such shoes were worn in the court of Louis the Fourteenth in Versailles, by men. Why? Because they felt it made them more masculine. But most of the shoes are worn by women who go to great... pains... to be fashionable.

Curator Hall says it's not just fashion. High heels also lend a feeling of empowerment.

"I'm actually taller than my husband when I put on 4-inch heels," she says.

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