Finsk Project Wedges.
Photo: Courtesy of Solestruck.com

We're no strangers to heels. We're no strangers to challenging heels. We just love them them to pieces despite not always being able to artfully explain EXACTLY why we admire them. Like, why does so much of the appeal in the 9-inch Gaga shoes made especially for her by Noritaka Tatehana lie in fear? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? These FINSK PROJECT shoes aka The Finsk 116-97 Cinza designed by Julia Lundsten inhabit the similarly WHA???!! ajskdlfjskjflsdjflksjdfksjlskjdfsk plane.

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A still of a scene from 'Monte Carlo.'
Photo: Courtesy of New Regency Productions

What do you get when you take two parts Gossip Girl, one part beloved pop star, add in a romantic Parisian summer landscape, also royalty, and bake into a summer blockbuster in a Louis Vuitton trunk? The perfect storm for Monte Carlo's fash-glutton's dream-come-true movie wardrobe, of course. You will undoubtedly be taking notes on every sequin, stitch, and bauble leading ladies Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester, and Katie Cassidy work in this classically "girls' night" flick. The vortex force of this movie's covetable clothes parade (uhh, I mean, HULLO bird's-eye pan over massive trunk of sparkly heels!! Also, HECK YES to the artificial gleam on the gold T-straps) is enough to induce a catatonic stupor so strong your eyes glaze over from the sensory deluge (in the very best way, of course). And in a film rife with sartorial eye candy, you better believe each and every accessory was agonized over with so much love and attention to detail, including and especially the SHOES. Costume designer Shay Cunliffe talked to WWD about the footwear choices she made for the flick, and she gave a couple of revealing and juicy tidbits.

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Michelle Williams, Willow Smith, and Diamond at the BET Awards '11 in Los Angeles, California on June 26, 2011.
Photo: Getty Images

It's no secret that this year's BET Awards were a veritable smorgasbord of style, but not NEARLY enough attention/homage/reverance was paid to the SHOES rocked all over this affair. The ladies at this show really turned it out and were diligently on-trend, running the gambit from romantic velvety lattice work to futuristic graphic Lichtenstein-esque heels. Best of all were the well-heeled women bold enough to add a considerable amount of extra weight to their stride with heavy metal hardware details like stone-cold fox Michelle Williams, the satorially spunky Willow Smith, and lady lyricist Diamond.

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Lucy Punch at the premiere of "Bad Teacher" in New York City on June 20, 2011, and Rutina Wesley and Janina Gavankar at the premiere of HBO's "True Blood" Season 4 in Los Angeles on June 21, 2011.
Photo: Getty Images

Guys. Let's give it up for shoes. Not just these shoes, though. I'm talking every. shoe. in. the. world. Every shoe there is, there has been, and ever will be. From the most Louvre-worthy stiletto masterpiece to the trustiest love-worn pair of flip-flops. Let's put our hands together for every heel, sandal, and sneaker we've ever known or loved. Because let's face it. Shoes all too often play second fiddle to the rest of the ensemble. So much blood, sweat, and tears goes into crafting an outfit that sometimes it's just easier to throw on a pair of simple shoes to cap things off. And the shoes, well, they don't complain. They're there for you, the foundation that you walk on, keeping your tootsies safe from debris and broken glass and rusty tetanus-waiting-to-happen nails etcetc. But that doesn't mean they don't want the spotlight every once in a while, you know? Well, in this week's Shoe Update, three ladies who know how that feels give their shoes the center stage: Lucy Punch, Rutina Wesley, and Janina Gavankar.

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Coco at the launch of her clothing line 'Licious' in May, 2011
Photo: Getty Images

Oh, Coco! Ice-T's wife is QUITE the jack-of-all-trades these days: Just this month she released her clothing line Licious, debuted a reality show with her hubby called Ice Loves Coco, and will release her first-ever single on iTunes called "Shoe Freak." LUCKILY, we got our hands on a sneak peek of her song and, whew. WHEW. This girl isn't kidding—she's a shoe FUUHHH-REAAAK, y'all. She names 16 designers that she "needs" high heels from, which, apparently, is sending her into a "Louis Vuitton frenzy," which plagues us on the regular. Here's a treat for your brain stems: Let us break down the one solid minute of lyrics that we got our grubby little hands on.

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Francisco de Zurbaran's 'Santa Dorotea' serves the '8 Mignon' sandal, 'The Artist's Mother' by James McNeill Whistler hold the 'Tootsie' boot.
Photo: Courtesy of Peter Lipmann

All right, art history majors. WHO WANTS TO GEEK OUT?! *raises hand* OK, it seems like the famous shoe fashion house Christian Louboutin decided to literally make their handcrafted red-soled shoes into historic works of art! They released their Autumn/Winter 2011 lookbook FILLED with their latest pumps painted into famous art pieces, and we are fuh-reakkinggg out at the pure amazingness of these photos. Er, paintings? Er, Photoshop masterpieces? Whatevs, either way, these shoes deserve to be WORSHIPED. Like, these bad boys need to be kept in glass cases at ALL TIMES when not in use. Which is only fitting that they ended up in some of the greatest works of our time, yes?

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Brooklyn Decker at the 'Good Morning America" taping in New York City on June 14, 2011, Jennifer Hudson at the 'Late Show With David Letterman' in New York City on June 13, 2011, and Blake Lively at the 'Tonight Show with Jay Leno' in Burbank, California, on June 15, 2011.
Photo: Getty Images

While there are definitely negatives to trotting around in heels all the time (blisters, tumbles, late-night foot cramps, the paranoid suspicion that blood is pooling in your toe box from standing in a pair for too long...), it's safe to say that just about every girl loves the look and feel of putting on a pair of heels. They perk up the posture and make your feet look tiny and unobtrusive (AS FEET SHOULD BE. JK. We are feminists who love big feet!). And the leg elongation is the best. That's why we let the love-hate relaysh (that's short for "relationship") go on. PLUS, there are so many kinds of heels (even ones that are, dare I say, comfortable) that we could never swear them off entirely. In this week's Shoe Update, the sweet model-turned-actress Brooklyn Decker, divalicious songstress Jennifer Hudson, and always bubbly Blake Lively demonstrate the full range of heel sizes and shapes.

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Rihanna's Max Kibardin shoes for her 'Loud' tour.
Photo: Courtesy of PR Consulting/Max Kibardin

Bright colors in the summer certainly isn't groundbreaking, but Lil' Miss Rihanna may be directly responsible for turning this one into a hypercolored, multichromatic smorgasbord of neon. And to that, we give props. For her Loud tour that kicked off early in June, Rihanna had to up the already flamboyant quotient, and for her footwear she tapped shoewear designer Max Kibardin, who has already made his musical imprint with the mind-blowing, actually functional guitar shoe. For her candy-coated, Swarovski-studded look, Max told us, "The inspiration was Cindy Crawford dressed in a vinyl trench from an old advertising campaign of Gianni Versace. (Stylist) Mel Ottenburg wanted to convey the same punk rock feeling, which I gave to a part of my summer collection." (Note: '90s Versace is really having a moment right now.) Of course, Max didn't want to just make a hot shoe: "The most important thing for me was designing shoes that Rihanna likes." With a chunky heel, patent leather and the most eye-catching colorblocking we've seen in this decade, how can Ms. Loud not want to wear these to every one of her shows?

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Snooki in Italy and NYC.
Photo: Getty Images

Juuuust when we were getting cozy in Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi's extensive slipper collection, the Jersey Shore star decided to expand her footwear line—actually labeled the apt and hilarious "Snooki Enterprises"—to include (gasp!) flip-flops and wedges. This is no surprise considering the Snooks is CONSTANTLY spotted on the beach working on the "T" in her "GTL." Her footwear line, which includes green pickles plastered across bright pink sequined flip-flops (with Snooki’s heart signature, of course) and ruched leopard print thongs, will retail between $15 and $50. Check out the pink pickle slip-ons below!
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Nicholas Kirkwood x Keith Haring.
Photo: Courtesy of Nicholas Kirkwood

Nicholas Kirkwood collaborating with Keith Haring is so CDG's Rei Kawakubo x Matt Groening in how much it splodes our brain. Nicholas Kirkwood, whose cobbling genius can be seen in the way he plays delicate lace uppers and spindly stilettos off of chunky platforms and glinting hardware, is as much a sculptor as he is a shoemaker and unsurprisingly has a background in art.

"I actually studied fine art at Central Saint Martins," he says, "The combination of fashion and art is very interesting for me. I never claim to be an artist. I'm a designer. But I think there are areas in which they can merge, and that overlap is exciting."
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Featured Comment

I love these two as a couple. What a festive way to celebrate two important events in their life. Mariah looks like a dream.

Posted by Journey on Mariah Carey And Nick Cannon Shut Down Disneyland To Renew Vows In Cinderella-Themed Ensembles
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