leanie van der vyver: scary beautiful
leanie van der vyver: scary beautiful
mar 18, 2012

leanie van der vyver: scary beautiful

‘scary beautiful’ by leanie van der vyver + rené van den berg



cape town-based designer leanie van der vyver has collaborated with dutch designer and shoe fabricator rené van den berg to execute ‘scary beautiful’, a pair of shoes for women which reverses the expected location of the heels and insole. she presented the absurdfootwear, the conclusion to her graduation work at the gerrit rietveld academie in amsterdam, at the 2013 design indaba conference where she was a speaker. the provocative concept was developed by van der vyer as a commentary on the current fashion industry standards, in which she created a pair of high heels which sees aesthetics, ergonomics and prosthesis merge into an awkward choreographic performance.



leanie van der vyver: scary beautiful shoes place the high heel in front of the user



the user must pointe their foot to insert into the shoe’s modified vamp which is inclined forward and tapers down to the toebox. the foot rests upon a platformed toebox and is stabilized within the glove-like shoe with a brace which wraps the ankle and is secured with buckles. spreading up the front of the shin, an angled heel projects from a tract of suede to support the individual. these ‘high-toed’ pumps instead position the leather sole to cover the arch of the foot.


leanie van der vyver: scary beautiful (left) standing upright, with knees remaining slightly bent (right) sitting cross-legged



‘humans are playing God by physically and metaphorically perfecting themselves. beauty is currently at an all time climax, allowing this project to explore what lies beyond perfection. scary beautiful challenges current beauty ideals by inflicting an unexpected new beauty standard.’ -leanie van der vyver



video demonstrates a woman walking with the shoes on


leanie van der vyver on her ‘scary beautiful’ shoes
video courtesy of design indaba




leanie van der vyver: scary beautiful

design indaba conference 2013leanie van der vyer has been one of the speakers at the 3-day design conference in cape town, south africa. the design indaba conference, which took place at the cape town international convention centre from february 27 to march 1, featured forty protagonists from the architecture, art and design world.

  • I want the dress.

  • Nice art piece I see it as point made humourously on torture instruments made for women in the name of fashion

  • stop hating people, they’re obviously an art piece, and i think they’re amazing! you cannot compare these to foot binding. I’m sure this model had a choice to wear these. You’re talking like she was forced into it!

    Lindsey Henderson
  • (: theres nothing new about it and can try a job opportunity at cirque du soLame

  • Anybody in this string ever hear of Matthew Barney? This is pure performance, people!

    Mort d'Urban
  • I guess model paid for what? torture?
    Any she is much much beautiful then shoes.
    whats her name any more images of her in normal

  • reminds me of your ballet pointe shoes!!!

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