“There would be no story without shoe designers, without Christian Louboutin, without Manolo [Blahnik], Pierre Hardy,” first time director Julie Benasra said Wednesday at the premiere of her new documentary “God Save My Shoes,” which explores women’s love affair with the accessory. “But this film is about women. It’s a portrait of the modern woman through her love of shoes.”
Among those who turned out to the Paris Theatre for the Outnet.com-sponsored premiere were a few of the film’s principals including Beth Shak, a professional poker player with more than 900 pairs of shoes, and Dita Von Teese.
“I was the most famous fetish model in the world, so I’m known for my extremely high arches, my ability to walk in any height of heel,” said the burlesque artist, clad in a red Elie Saab dress and heels by Christian Louboutin, with whom she’s worked closely. “I remember my first Louboutin heels. I bought them back in the early Nineties, when the red sole first came out. I still have those shoes, and Christian has seen them. They’re really beat up.”
The film is “completely character driven,” Benasra said. “I only realized that after I was editing. Of course, I chose every single person that’s in the movie, but I didn’t realize, when I was interviewing them, just how powerful they are on screen.”
Other interviewees included Valerie Steele, fashion historian and curator of the Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology; shoe designers Hardy, Blahnik, Louboutin, and singers Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas and Kelly Rowland, formerly of Destiny’s Child.
Baroness Monica von Neumann, widow of an Austrian baron, who admitted to spending up to $5,000 on a pair of boots, is one of the more eccentric personalities in the cast.
“I recently had hip surgery, but I’m still here tonight, sporting my red bottoms,” she said of her Louboutin heels. “Shoes are a piece of art to me. They make my life.”