Saturday, June 2, 2012

Art chic

We were at an art museum, attending a reception celebrating the opening of a new exhibit. The galleries were filled with people, the wine flowed and a DJ spun tunes in an echoing open courtyard.

And while the works on display were attractive, for some odd reason, the bright colors and intriguing, inventive shapes that kept catching my attention weren't on the walls but on the floor.


Let's face it - an art opening is a fashionista's paradise. And particularly a fashionista with a love for shoes.

Brocade Chuck Taylors. Odd shaped open-toed booties. Teeteringly high cork-soled wedgies. Munster-like clodhoppers in black. Chenille-flocked platform pumps.

As befits the L.A. art scene, many people wore black - I spotted many a dolmen-sleeved assymetrical black linen shroud-like garment moving through the crowd. But perhaps because it's almost summer, there were flashes of color  -  here and there flashed bright tights in vermillion, cobalt, or cadmium yellow, flaring above python-skin strappy sandals or burgundy four-inch patent leather ghillie-loafers.

Another hint of summer was the noticeable presence of white clothing - the museum director herself was head-to-toe in a white linen suit. "White is the new black," someone noted.

Some folks must have said to hell with it and decked themselves out in full hippie retro regalia, like this woman in her pink flowered dress, black leggings, and shiny bone-colored pumps.

Is she wearing his coat?
 Younger people seemed to embrace color - here a young man in coral-colored jeans hangs out with a girlfriend teetering in black wedge-heels.

His jacket is pink-striped seersucker
The galleries were so full of people that it was truly difficult to see the art. People clustered in conversation directly in front of paintings or smack in the doorway.  The chattering rose up to the high track-lit ceilings and curled back down to the floor. I gazed past one woman's hammered-steel dangling earrings in longing at a triptych of canvases splashed in red, yellow and green, but could never make it close enough to read the placard.

Orange jumpsuit and stacked-heel pumps.
I resigned myself to missing out on the art. We'd come another time. But in a crowded room, sometimes all you see are people's shoes!

It's tricky to balance a cocktail while sneaking an I-phone photo behind the back of the guard in a gallery, which is why I can't show you some of the more astonishing specimens I encountered.  There was the lady in a dress that looked like a dishtowel, wearing bright blue chunky-heeled pumps. Another in a dress made of doilies wore ankle-strapped gladiator sandals. A fashionable older lady wore emerald-green vintage peep-toe oxfords. As we found our way out at the end of the evening, we passed on the marble staircase a lanky sylph in organdy, clopping up the stairs in six-inch hot pink suede hooves.

 It was not just the ladies who were sartorially turned out.  The gentlemen favored accessories like unusual vintage eyeglass frames. One pair dressed identically in linen suits except that one was black and the other pure white. Older gentlemen weren't afraid to dress up - there were Hawaiian shirts and leather jackets. Another man wore a pink-striped seersucker blazer.   Even so, there were a lot of young men wearing the uniform of dark skinny jeans, tee shirts and sneakers.

Young men wore sneakers
I wonder if I could approach a curator with the idea of show featuring photographs of shoes encountered at art exhibit openings. What do you think?


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I think that's a great idea!

The Columbus Arts Festival is back to the river again this weekend.

I didn't make it today, I'll have to try it tomorrow.

déjà pseu said...

Sounds like a great idea! Snapping fashion shots surreptitiously is *hard* and you've managed quite a good collection here.

Anonymous said...

I would go to that in a heartbeat.
I love to look at shoes in the stores. They are little works of art.
My best friend and I play a game when we are waiting to be seated at a restaurant. BSITH. ( best shoes in the house). Someone passes us and we say BSITH. Never thought to take pictures though.


Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Sounds like your idea would be a great exhibit!