The hallmark of modern luxury is the shoe. Expensive footwear has been at the forefront of the American consciousness since the late 1990s with the beginning of Sex and the City. The series made Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo household names, while consumers became anesthetized to footwear with three and four-digit price tags. Luxurious and decadent, footwear can be counted upon to create a frenzy among collectors, fashionistas and housewives alike. Julie Benasra’s documentary God Save My Shoes takes a candid look at the footwear craze by interviewing shoe fanatics and designers from around the world. Capitalizing on the fervor for footwear, Sofia Coppola tapped Manolo Blahnik to create the opulent shoes for her 2006 film, Marie Antoinette. Who better to design for the excesses of Versaille than the man responsible for the modern court shoe?
"When the producers called, I dropped everything," Blahnik said. "When I was a boy, my mother read a Marie-Antoinette biography, and I have read Antonia Fraser's version. They said 'make them sexy', but I wanted to do something very academic." He began by studying original 18th-century shoes in Paris and at the V&A Museum. The shoes, along with costume designs by Academy Award winner Milena Canonero, create a true feast for the eyes!