The late Beth Levine keeps hers at the Bellevue Art Museum. That has got to be an impressive closet! After a lifetime of modeling, designing and wearing some of the most artful and whimsical shoes from the 1940s through the 1970s, her passions and talents have been put on display for the world to see.
While my pocket-book doesn’t always permit it, and encourages that I window shop more often, I look forward to the days that I can drop my hard-earned dime on a new pair of pumps or dazzling flats. There’s just something special about it. And you wouldn’t believe me if you saw my closet, but occasionally I do window shop! I’m planning to look, and not touch, my way through the colorful display sometime soon while it’s in Bellevue until June. In case you need something to jog your memory, Levine designed, under the label of her husband Herbert Levine, the infamous white go-go boots worn by Nancy Sinatra in the promotions of her song “These Boots are Made for Walkin’”
Truly fashion over function at it’s finest, Levine was known for creating, in her words, “very pretty shoes that nobody really needed but everybody wanted.” She was the driving force behind many…er…styles that even Lady Gaga and Gwen Stefani may pause at before sporting today. Everything from pumps attached to pantyhose and race car inspired loafer to the topless “No” shoe (literally the sole of a shoe applied with adhesive to the bottom of your foot) to evening shoes that looked like Aladdin’s lamp, are part of the first exhibit of her work in the United States, “Beth Levine: First Lady of Shoes.”
Anemone d’Orsay Photo: David Hamsley
The exhibit runs through June 6, 2010 at the Bellevue Art Museum, admission is $10 for adults, $7 for students and seniors and FREE for members & children under age six.
While she also designed shoes of a very classic nature, I’m sure it’s the experimental or questionable designs that make the show.
Fun Fact: You can also thank Levine for the clear plastic heels that strippers favor.
Here are some of her most sassy and stylish creations.