The lovechild of The Day of the Triffids and Alexander McQueen's more bombastic vision, perhaps, Scary Beautiful is wearable art like nothing we have seen.
With two heels, three side buckles and footbeds that force shins forward and feet en pointe, the nude leather ‘shoes’ are a good 20cm high.
The extraordinary Dutch designs push the wearer into a prowling, awkward gait, legs akimbo and bottom shunted into a crouching position that makes walking a borderline impossibility – and are painful to simply to look at.
More like a medieval torture instrument than a comfortable slip-on, the design is the brainchild of artist Leanie van der Vyver. She says the semi-abstract creations underline a rather more serious side of fashion.
"Humans are playing God by physically and metaphorically perfecting themselves. Beauty is currently at an all time climax, allowing this project to explore what lies beyond perfection”, van der Vyer writes at her Vimeo site.
"Scary Beautiful challenges current beauty ideals by inflicting an unexpected new beauty standard.”
That new standard has podiatrists raising their eyebrows.
Brenden Brown, Vice President of the Australian Podiatry Association (NSW & ACT), told Life&Style: “The name of the shoes is fitting. Women should be very scared to wear them as they are virtually impossible to walk in. You can’t take this stuff too seriously. As a mere podiatrist I can say I am pretty sure I won’t be seeing these in George St, Sydney any time soon."
Which is probably a good thing, given their effect on the wearer.
“The shoes posturally throw the shins in a forward direction", Brown said. "This requires the knees to be bent almost at 45 degrees. Let’s face it, not only are you going to be uncomfortable but walking in those you’re going to look pretty silly, quite possibly you would walk like a scary monster!”
And, yes, a pair have reportedly been dispatched to Lady Gaga.