Birth, Life, Death and Resurrection shoes
by Benjamin John Hall

| 13 comments

Shoes that undergo physical changes to represent stages in a life cycle - from floating in amniotic fluid to rebirth through fire - form this collection by London designer Benjamin John Hall (+ movie).

Birth Life Death and Resurrection by Benjamin John Hall

Above: "Birth" women's shoe

Hall told Dezeen that the haute couture collection "is based on the processes and experiences that relate to the themes of birth, life, death and resurrection".

Birth Life Death and Resurrection by Benjamin John Hall

Above: "Birth" women's shoe

The collection features seven pairs of shoes: a single pair for resurrection and a men's and women's pair for each of the other themes.

Birth Life Death and Resurrection by Benjamin John Hall

Above: "Birth" men's shoe

The Amniotic Boot, signifying birth, is wrapped in foil that is slowly filled with black ink and then pierced so the ink bleeds out and the foil is removed to reveal the shoe.

Birth Life Death and Resurrection by Benjamin John Hall

Above: "Birth" men's shoe

Black ink circulates around hospital-grade silicon tubing that is coiled around to create the women's Birth sandal and when the tube is filled with ink it is snipped at the source like an umbilical chord.

Birth Life Death and Resurrection by Benjamin John Hall

Above: "Life" women's shoes

Balloons in the sides of the Life shoes are rapidly inflated by gas canisters hidden in the large, hollow wooden soles, before bursting as "an allegory of growth and the unexpected, unpredictable nature of life", explains Hall.

Birth Life Death and Resurrection by Benjamin John Hall

Above: "Life" women's shoes

Both pairs of Death shoes explore the "light at the end of the tunnel" philosophy, and the perspex in their soles illuminates and flashes intermittently.

Birth Life Death and Resurrection by Benjamin John Hall

Above: "Life" men's shoes

The Resurrection shoes were part of a live brief involving the YKK flame-retardant zips attached to the shoes.

Birth Life Death and Resurrection by Benjamin John Hall

Above: "Life" men's shoes

The zips were tested by dousing the shoes in flammable liquid and setting them alight, leaving the zip unharmed but shrinking the baggy leather so it would fit tightly around the foot.

Birth Life Death and Resurrection by Benjamin John Hall

Above: "Death" women's shoes

This project was presented with the International YKK Award at International Talent Support in Trieste, Italy, earlier this year.

Birth Life Death and Resurrection by Benjamin John Hall

Above: "Death" women's shoes

A combination of materials such as wood, perspex and lamb nappa were used to create the collection.

Birth Life Death and Resurrection by Benjamin John Hall

Above: "Death" men's shoe

The project began as a collaboration with fashion designer Alexandra Groover.

Birth Life Death and Resurrection by Benjamin John Hall

Above: "Death" men's shoe

The film was made by Stuart Meldrum and photography is by Paul Phung.

Birth Life Death and Resurrection by Benjamin John Hall

Above: "Resurrection" shoes

We've recently featured a pair of back-to-front high heels that force the wearer walk in an unusual way. See all our stories about shoes »

Birth Life Death and Resurrection by Benjamin John Hall

Above: "Resurrection" shoes

Here is some information from the designer:


Birth, Life, Death and Resurrection is a seven piece collection of handmade ‘functioning’ footwear pieces.

The collection is presented in a 30 second teaser edit and full length film where the shoes undergo physical processes relating to the themes.

Birth Life Death and Resurrection by Benjamin John Hall

Above: "Resurrection" shoes

Amniotic sacs are opened and umbilical cords are cut. Shoes become alive, they breathe, they grow, they die and are even resurrected in fire.

Birth Life Death and Resurrection by Benjamin John Hall

Above: "Resurrection" shoes

The work touches on some of the extreme differences in people’s attitudes or beliefs surrounding our experience of birth, life, death and resurrection.

Birth Life Death and Resurrection by Benjamin John Hall

Described as ‘experimental’ and ‘transcendental’ the work won the International YKK Award at ITS (International Talent Support) in Trieste, Italy, in July 2012.

  • archive

    Disoriented, unpurposed. The words “catchy for reachy” – the PERFECT translation of the word crap.

  • Bethanie

    Why is it always women’s shoes they make all freaky? Is it because they know that no man would put up with it for a split second, but women will try anything for attention?

    • janine

      Yes, when I see male designers add men’s shoes to their collections that are designed to cripple and deform, then I’ll take them seriously.

  • Greenish

    I find the men’s shoes curious, but the women’s… I feel an almost physical repulsion to them.

    Why do we get landed with the insane, torturous bindings? And the men get the light-up cowboy boots?

  • Zaedrus

    Lady Gaga’s closet?

  • http://shoecurator.com/curation/ ShoeCurator

    Incomprehensible. Ugly. Meaningless. What else?

  • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

    ಠ_ಠ

  • Michael

    These are utterly gorgeous and masturbation-worthy. Ugly? Not in the slightest!

  • http://www.alexandragroover.com Alexandra Groover

    I am a fashion designer who is female and we explored some of these themes together in our collaborative film projects starting with my AW11 collection. They were never intended to be practical footwear, but more of a sculptural experiment and exploration of different themes on both the body and the feet made specifically for use in film.

    Perhaps they do not suit everyone’s aesthetic, but I can say that as a creative process, it was both inspiring and fulfilling to work with someone like Benjamin who has great innovative ideas and concepts that brought incredible life to our films.

    • Kenny

      The process and idea behind this may have been interesting and original, however I think the use of shoes as a medium disorientated viewers a great deal.

  • E Montague

    Up close, in the flesh, one can see that the imagination, craftsmanship, and creative and technical innovation are second to none. Simply stunning and inspiring.

  • sultony

    The women’s ‘Life’ Shoes (or foot objects I prefer to say) are so appropriate – the lady can do some ironing too!

  • George

    One more pair of stupid shoes and I will unsubscribe. You cannot be serious with this crap.