I was in Boston yesterday and was surprised to see Leah Woods work at Gallery NAGA. She designs and builds beautiful, elegant, and feminine sculptural furniture using a lot of elaborate wood bending. She won a Niche Award last year for her wood furniture and I've seen pieces in several magazines. She will also be showing at the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston next month. I find these two pieces at Gallery NAGA interesting in how it takes items (shoes) that are usually hidden in a closet and takes them out for display as part of a sculpture. I don't think too many men would have thought to do this. It is also a great idea in that shoes that don't get used very often can still be enjoyed as art.
This top one is obviously the woman's shoe version, the one below is the man's version.
Although I can see women's shoes working as art and being on display, I'm not thinking that it works so well for men's shoes. Men just have boring shoes. I think men's shoes start becoming art when they get so over used and worn out that going barefoot is an improvement -- like this (below) Janet Van Fleet sculpture with my old shoes (although I don't think Leah's sculpture would be an appropriate display for it). When I finally stopped wearing them, barefoot was definitely more comfortable. But then, I'm not really the best person to ask about men's or women's fashion. There probably are very nice men's shoes out there that are worthy of display, I would have no idea.
Below is an image of Leah's piece that is featured for the Society of Arts and Craft show. In addition to being very well designed and constructed, I find her work interesting in how feminine it is. I just don't think you could ask a man to design something that would do the same function as that and get something that is so "girlie." Right down to the fine point feet, it just gives you the sense that it was designed by a woman for a woman.