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This object comes from a group of over seventy-five shoe prototypes designed in Paris in 1939 by Steven Arpad. Aside from the lines of leather accessories and jewelry he produced under his own name in the 1940s, Arpad seems to have worked mostly anonymously. The prototypes are accompanied by an extensive archive of original sketches which has made it possible to identify uncredited shoe designs for Balenciaga and Delman as Arpad's work. Containing some of the most creative, unique, and unusual examples of footwear design in the collection, the museum's holdings appear to be the only documented body of the work of this extraordinary designer. A fundamental challenge of clothing design is how to make a flat piece of fabric conform to the curves of the human body. In this experiment with basic shaping techniques, Arpad forms the vamp into three large darts or graduated cartridge pleats, which he chooses to emphases as a decorative element. The same treatment is repeated in the heel.

Details

  • Title: Shoe prototype
  • Creator: Steven Arpad
  • Date Created: 1939
  • Type: shoe
  • External Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Collection Online
  • Medium: leather, wood
  • Culture: French
  • Credit Line: Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Arpad, 1947
  • Creator Death Date: 1999
  • Creator Birth Date: 1904
  • Accession Number: 2009.300.3060

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