Jurassic-era soil, c. 200 million BC. Metropolitan sidewalks, c. 2010AD. Few would argue the two have much in common. But it’s easy to imagine both as stomping grounds for Tiffany Tuttle’s latest collection of shoes, rendered in murky colors of “asphalt,” “bacteria” and “bog,” with unlined, raw leathers creasing into bone-hard, sculpted heels. “I was looking at dinosaur fossils,” says the LD Tuttle designer of the inspiration behind her fall 2010 collection. “They have a sense of fragility and decay, but at the same time permanence, because they’ve lasted millions of years.” Tuttle, who founded her line with husband Richard Ladinsky in 2005, splits her time between Los Angeles, where she dreams up her draped, architectural visions, and Italy, where they take form. Her hard-edged, near-brutalist footwear designs have drawn a horde of fans, including recent collaborators Victoria Bartlett at VPL and Nicole and Michael Colovos at Helmut Lang. Ankle-twisting, toe-crunching stilettos they are not. “My shoes aren’t about hindering a woman’s ability to have movement,” says Tuttle, an ex-ballet dancer. To prove the ease and grace of her heavily wedged designs, she teamed up with photographer Zen Sekizawa (who has previously shot for Vogue Japan
and Casa Brutus
) to create a video that shows the shoes “in a state of flux—so they are creating and finishing off the line of the body.” In this hypnotic film, which we premiere today, Emilie Livingstone (a former Olympic rhythmic gymnast) arches and stretches against a sonic backdrop by Liars’ Aaron Hemphill in partnership with Italian noise artist Francesco Calandrino. Livingstone wears a mask made by Tuttle’s friend, the artist PJ Risse, who himself dipped into prehistory, taking inspiration from the fertility masks of pre-Columbia.