QUË Platform Shoes

QUË is wearable sculptural piece that attempts to comment on the confinement and freedom of love and marriage in both Western and Eastern societies. 

QUË merges the forms of modern day wedding heels and the vase-shaped platform heels.  Confinement, freedom and the pureness of love are portrayed through two pairs of lovebirds. One pair of birds is embedded within the resin heel, they are gazing at each other but are not able to get close. The other pair escapes from the heel and perches closely together on a branch extending out of the shoe. The white background and foggy translucent quality of the heels work together to portray the ghostly and intangible nature of love. 

Just a few centuries ago, women were not able to choose their partners and most did not meet their husbands until the day of their marriage. Their roles after marriage were to serve their husbands and bear them sons. To these women, romantic love on a spiritual and intellectual level was a luxury, something that they did not dare to think about let alone fight for.

 Women were also greatly objectified. Beauty was defined by specific body features, which directly affected their fate. During Ming and Qing Dynasties in China, if a Han woman wanted to have a good match for marriage, she must bind her feet so that it looked small and elegant, while a Manchu woman would wear vase-shaped platform shoes to hide her feet under their long robes. 

 Today, many of us are very lucky to live in a society where both women and men have the freedom to chose who we love, despite the difference in age, race, gender and social status. While this is something we can celebrate and be proud of, we must remember, to many others, freedom of love is still a dream that is far away from their reality.

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"I am no bird; and no not ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will." - Charlotte Bronte

2014 Shoemaking, RISD