Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain (V&A) : New Exhibition

The Victoria & Albert Museum will showcase more than 200 pairs of historic and contemporary shoes in a new exhibition, "Shoes: Pleasure and Pain." On ahow are some of the most extreme, amazing, absurd, luxurious and famous historic and contemporary footwear ever made. Exhibits explore the "agonizing aspect of wearing shoes as well as the euphoria and obsession they can inspire." The work of over 70 designers including: Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin, Prada, Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Zaha Hadid and Sophia Webster will be featured in the exhibit. The exhibits are organized across two floors and around three themes:

“Transformation” highlights shoes that are now legend, like the many interpretations of Cinderella’s slipper that through folklore and cultural influences have become “contemporary marketing tools for the concept of the modern-day, fairy-tale shoemakers, whose designs will magically transform the life of the wearer.

“Status” focuses on the correlation between impractical shoes, often designed in shapes and materials that make them unsuitable for walking and the people of privileged status who usually wore them. Then there are the outlandish and absurd modern creations there are Indian men’s shoes with extremely long toes, noisy slap-sole shoes worn in 17th century Europe and ‘Pompadour’ shoes worn by trend-setting women in the 18th-century French court.

“Seduction” include shoes that are “an expression of sexual empowerment or a passive source of pleasure. Like feet, shoes can be objects of fetishism. High Japanese geta, extreme heels and tight-laced leather boots will be on display as well as examples of erotic styles channeled by mainstream fashion in recent years. The show is sponsored by Clarks and supported by Agent Provocateur and the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers. Shoes: Pleasure and Pain runs from June 13, 2015 to Jan. 31, 2016, will .

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thomas Murphy: private shoemaking tuition

Thomas Murphy offers private shoemaking tuition for anyone who dreams of making their own pair of shoes. Lessons can be tailored to suit your requirements in terms of what you'd like to learn or the shoe you'd like to make. No previous shoemaking experience required. Shoemaking is taught at the studio in Vauxhall, London and can either be individual tuition or you can come with a friend.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The world's tallest high heel shoe

Kenneth Cole partnered with Today Show contributor Jill Martin to create the world's largest high-heeled shoe. The shoe was unveiled on the Today Show and is modeled after The Kenneth Cole New York Otto, a polished-leather lug sole bootie from the fall 2014 collection. It stands at 6 feet, 1 inches and is 6 feet, 5 inches long. The shoe, built by Izquierdo Studio , a costume and prop design atelier, took nearly 400 hours to create and required five and a half hides, as well as 3D printing to craft the buckle and clasp which measured over a foot long. The team partnered with the Garden of Dreams Foundation, a non-profit charity that works closely with all areas of The Madison Square Garden Company. Four children from the foundation collaborated with Izquierdo Studios to bring Cole's vision of the shoe to life. The shoe will be showcased at the shoe floor of Lord & Taylor NYC.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Small Steps

A UK charity called the Small Steps Project is a humanitarian organisation supporting children and their families living on rubbish dumps.

Small Steps Project are currently hosting a celebrity shoe auction on eBay aimed at raising money for and providing aid to children living in in landfills around the world. Donations include Tom Jones’ blue Vivienne Westwoods, Beyonce’s Stuart Weitzman boots, Four Tet’s Nike sneakers that he wore for Glastonbury, Tom Odell’s chelsea boots and various other donations from Debbie Harry, Bombay Bicycle Club, Art Garfunkel, Metronomy, The Strokes, Chvrches and many more. The final auction is live on eBay.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Ivanka Trump: FFANY Shoes on Sale 2014

Ivanka Trump is a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur, she knows that power shoes can help a woman feel like she is ready to conquer the world. This year, Trump is digging in her heels to help fight breast cancer through her involvement with QVCPresents "FFANY Shoes on Sale." The charitable collaboration between QVC and the Fashion Footwear Association of New York (FFANY) has generated more than $44 million to date. During the month of October, donated shoes from over 80 brands will be offered at amazing prices to benefit breast cancer research and education. The event is scheduled to air live on QVC Thursday, October 16 from 6 PM to 9 PM (ET), and Trump has taken a step out of the boardroom to appear in both print and television public service announcements supporting the cause. During the three-hour broadcast event, shoppers can choose from more than 200 styles being offered at HALF the manufacturer's suggested retail price. In addition, each weekday from 7 AM to 9 AM (ET) during the month of October, buyers can shop the Shoe of the Day on air, online or on the QVC apps. A minimum of 80 percent of the purchase price will benefit various breast cancer research and education institutions. Select styles from the Ivanka Trump footwear collection are scheduled to be included in the assortment. Beneficiaries for the 2014 QVC Presents "FFANY Shoes on Sale" event include: The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, The Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, The Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center's Breast Oncology Program, The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, The Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, The Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, and The Margie and Robert E. Petersen Breast Cancer Research Program at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John's Health Center. Those wishing to support cutting-edge research at these organizations can go to Fashion Footwear Charitable Foundation to make contributions and find out ways to join in and be part of this important effort.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Glamour Magazine Collaborates With Gilt On Footwear Capsule Collection

Brooklyn Museum : Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe

“Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe” opens Sept. 10 at the Brooklyn Museum. On display are 178 shoes from mid-17th century Italian chopines made from silk, to more current couture like the Vivienne Westwood purple platforms that nearly killed supermodel Naomi Campbell on a Paris runway in 1993. The collection features a mix of high and low styles: towering red kinky boots from Christian Louboutin to delicate Dior slippers from 1960. The highest heel in the exhibit is 8-inch black booty platform stilettos decked out with gold men statues. These were worn by Lady Gaga two years ago and made by United Nude. Other standout shoes in the exhibit include a pair of heelless Tatehana platforms, standing 9 inches tall; 19th century silk embroidered Manchu shoes from China; and a pair of Prada wedge sandals from the Spring and Summer 2012 collection illuminated with red hot flames and costing upwards of $1,500. The “Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe” runs through to February 2015.

Friday, September 5, 2014

V&A Announces New Fashion Exhibition, Shoes Pleasure And Pain. Naomi Campbell's Vivienne Westwood Platforms Will Feature | Marie Claire

V&A Announces New Fashion Exhibition, Shoes Pleasure And Pain. Naomi Campbell's Vivienne Westwood Platforms Will Feature | Marie Claire

The centre piece of the next Victoria and Albert museum’s major fashion exhibition Shoes: Pleasure And Pain is the iconic Vivienne Westwood platforms responsible for Naomi Campbell’s famous 1992 catwalk tumble. The exhibition highlights iconic examples of extreme footwear from around the world. The exhibition considers the cultural significance and transformative capacity of shoes as well as the latest developments in footwear technology. Also on display will be a dazzling range of unseen historic shoes including a pair of Mary Quant ankle boots from 1967 and a papyrus sandal that dates back to Ancient Egypt and 30BCE. Major trend moments like Patrick Cox loafers will also be analysed, and signature designs by Manolo Blahnik, Roger Vivier Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin (who once famously declared that high heels are all about “pleasure with pain”) will be pulled from the museum’s vast archive. Other exhibits include Nicholas Kirkwood’s sculptural sandals and Miu Miu’s metallic boots. Shoes: Pleasure and Pain will run at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum from 13 June 2015 – 31 January 2016.

The V&A will play host to the Met’s record-breaking exhibition, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, in March 2015.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Kinetic Traces by Silvia Fado Moreno

Kinetic Traces collection by Silvia Fado Moreno, graduate of the London College of Fashion, has developed a new line of shoe wear that aims to create extreme comfort and wearability using the magic of technology. To create these new heels, Moreno took a close look at impact absorption. She studied traction, durability and shoe weight, and then added rubber balls and springs to familiar styles of heel. This project brings sports footwear fundamentals to high-end fashion as sports footwear are based on function and wearability, both very important elements for design features that must interact with the body and be usable by the wearer. She crafted the shoes with a combination of metal, leather and wood-work, taking advantage of the latest techniques in 3D printing and milling as well as in laser cutting.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Shoes of Prey

Shoes of Prey was launched in 2009, offering footwear fanatics the opportunity to design their own perfect pair of shoes. The company has specialised in flats, heels, wedges, sandals, boots and more. The process is easy and fun. Using the Shoes of Prey 3D DESIGNER customers choose the shape, colour and height of their shoes. Designs are handmade within five weeks and delivered worldwide. The complete order is available within four week .

Harrod's Shoe Heaven

Harrods has unveiled a brand new footwear department, named Shoe Heaven. Located suitably high-up, on the fifth floor of the Harrods store in London is 42,000 sq ft, and contains 17 footwear boutiques with collections from over 50 of the biggest luxury brands including Christian Dior, Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Valentino, Manolo Blahnik and Louis Vuitton. The luxe marble-floored space was designed by the late David Collins. Alongside the shoes and the displays, the space also contains velvet banquet seating and private shopping suites.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

High fashion trainers the new shell suit

Designer trainers are the new vogue. Once the reserve of the super fit, the traditional running shoe has been given some serious style credentials in its new funky form. The new IT is loud a bright trainers with a price tag of $US 1k plus. Karl Lagerfeld started the catwalk trend at Chanel when he sent Cara Delevingne and co down the catwalk in colourful tweed trainers. Since then Katie Grand editor of LOVE magazine, has collaborated with trainer makers Hogan to create wild looking designs combining neon colours and animal print, while Stella McCartney’s designs for trainer giant Adidas have been a huge hit. Cara Delevingne is rarely seen off duty without a pair of pimped up trainers on and Delhi-born designer Ashish designed stand-out LED Buffalo Boots for Topshop.The light-up wedge trainers have already been spotted on Lily Allen, Lady Gaga, Ellie Goulding and Rita Ora.

Part of the attraction of high fashion ath-leisure is the move away from higher heels. Being able to comfortably run about in designer trainers holds much appeal for the paparrazi dodgers. Currently the shoes to be seen in are wedged trainers designed by Isabel Marant, which comes in a variety of funky designs. The classic Nike Air max 1 is as popular now as it ever has been, but now comes in a kaleidoscopic range of designs and colours. The latest Nike Blazer can even be customised on with a choice of colours patterns and material for every part of the sneaker.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New York Shoe Expo: Sneak Peek

CBS 2 has done a sneak peek at the New York Shoe Expo where they showcased the upcoming hottest trends for 2015. With more than 300 vendors representing over 800 footwear brands, there’s truly something for everyone.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Birkenstocks is the new hip

Birkenstocks are back as the fashionista’s comfort sandal. Once reserved for the comfort shoe brigade they now can be seen on the feet of the celebrated famous, from the Olsen twins to Heidi Klum. According to people who know these things it was last year’s Céline fashion show in Paris which brought the mouldy old comfort sandal back to its bling vogue. At first, the orthopaedic sandals drew jeers, then acceptance and finally adulation. To meet a new level of international demand, Birkenstock will double its annual production from 10 million pairs to 20 million over the next five years. Earlier this year, a new design team was assembled by the brand; its spring 2015 line will include, for the first time, Birks with heels and wedges. The company also plans to push the classic single-strap Madrid model as the must-have sandal next season in the hopes of avoiding this season’s success, the double-strap white Arizona Birkenstocks.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Swing Shoe Shop

The white cube as an institutional commercial space is staged in Swing Shoe Shop with a fitting bench, shoe horns and nylon sockies. Gallery visitors are invited to try on the shoes (for sale for €99.90 in a custom silk-screened shoebox). The 50 0dd pairs of shoes are appropriated 1920′s to 1940′s dance shoes: some are unworn, others considerably threadbare, and each tells its own story. On a surreal museum audio guide, a voice actor narrates the back-stories in a period transatlantic accent. For a slideshow of the collection and the accompanying audio tour, check out the video.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Make yours espadrilles this summer

Espadrille shoes are once again trending thanks to celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian, Beyonce Knowles, Kate Bosworth and Katy Perry. The fashionista have been spotted wearing their designer espadrilles on the highways and byways of Tinseltown and beyond . Most sought after are Tory Burch’s espadrilles shoes in lace and floral designs, according to those in the know.

Friday, May 16, 2014

History under your feet: 3000 years of shoes: New Exhibition

History under your feet: 3000 years of shoes is a special exhibition at Spielzeug Welten Museum Basel and is devoted to that everyday object that for millennia has served to protect the soles of men, women and children. In collaboration with the Northampton Shoe Museum in England, home to the world’s largest collection of historical shoes, this exhibition of over 250 pairs of shoes takes you on a journey through the footwear fashions of the last 3000 years. In addition to its purely protective function and its importance for many people as a fashion item, throughout history the shoe has also been connected with social status and membership of particular social groups. In ancient Egypt, only pharaohs were allowed to wear sandals made of silver or gold. The oldest shoe in the exhibition comes from Egypt, and dates from around 1000 BC. In the meantime, the shoe has also become a subject for the art world, and more than 20 artists from across the globe have made their artistic shoe creations available for the exhibition. Shoes from the designers of tomorrow also offer visitors a taste of the future. The exhibition runs from 18th October 2014 - 6th April 2015

Saturday, May 3, 2014

J.K.Rowling on shoes

J.K. Rowling hosted a BBC Radio 4 program dedicated to footwear. The commissioned segment, which was part of Rowling's guest editing stint for Women’s Hour, focused on the "myth and power" of shoes and their historical and literary importance.

Woman's Hour Podcast

Soap Opera causes run on Jimmy Choo's

The power of the media to influence consumers was witnessed recently in Korea and China. A new Korean TV soap called, “My Love From the Star,” featured Korean film star Jun Ji-hyun slipping on glittering Jimmy Choo pumps (Abel in anthracite). Within days it was reported stocks ran so low in Chinese and Korean shoe stores they had to notify the Jimmy Choo’s London executives clients were coming in with smartphone snapshots of the shoe on a mysterious new television show. The dainty $US 625 pump sold out which is a timely warning just in case it was required fads, magnified and fuelled by social media, now move around the globe far faster than manufacturers of handmade luxury goods can respond. This is not the first time a featured shoe has caused a sell out and it happened when Opray Wimfrey endorses Ugg boots in the US.

Monday, April 21, 2014

A short history of brogues

Brogan is thought to be an old Scot’s word for shoe. It is unclear whether this was a simple bag of leather or a clog but today brogues are Oxford type shoes (lacing) which because of their sturdiness are associated with outward-bound activities such as hunting, shooting and fishing (Pattison & Cawthorn, 1997). The shoes are connected to the aristocracy but evolved from one of the simplest yet most practical peasant styles.

The Cuaran was a crude shoe originally made from rawhide fresh off the beast and worn by labourers in Ireland & the Highlands of Scotland (Wright, 1922).The skins of deer, cow, horse, and occasionally seal skins were used, often with the animal's hair still on. By the end of the 17th century half tanned leather was used. The people of Aran called them, Pampooties and Lowlanders called them Revilins. Originally these were heelless and kept in place by laced thongs tied behind and before. Sometimes for added comfort hay or straw insoles were fitted into the shoe to prevent chafing (Ledger). The holes in the uppers were functional and allowed water to drain through as the walker forded streams and hiked across bogs. Pampooties were more a bag worn around the foot with no stitching and bound together with leather thong. By the 1700s Most working class Celts wore rough brogues.

The Ghillie was more or less a simple bag of leather for the foot with leather loops sewn to the quarters and did not lace through eyelets like the brogue. The special lacing system gave the shoe improved waterproofing. Much later the term Ghillie was used to describe a land manager in Scotland but few would ever wear Ghillie shoes.

Modern ghillies are worn in Scottish Country dancing

In the 17th century the Squirarchy had heels added and merged the styles of the Cuaran and Ghillie. These hardier shoes were ideal for deer stalking, hunting and fishing. Circa 1640 a shawl tongue was added with a fringe to lend a touch of elegance. It was thought Irish landowners started to decorate their shoes with patterned sequence of holes. In the original shoes the holes served a pragmatic purpose i.e. to allow water to flow through. For good luck the designs incorporated coded symbols. As soon as the style became associated with the gentry the holes became more decorative features (Vass & Molnar, 1999). Later when the holes only served for decorative purposes leather uppers were rubbed with melted candle wax (or tallow) to improve waterproofing. The brogue became refined without losing its sturdiness as the style crossed over into main fashion.

Lachet shoes are constructed using a last and can be made with or without heels. Sometimes the latchet shoes had large openings between the quarters and the vamp. This was used by the well off to show off their expensive silk hose. Shoes worn by poor people were "closed". In the 17th century, the promise of hobnailed latchet shoes was a major reason many men joined the army and Scottish infantry captains wore latchet shoes in the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) and the British Civil War (1638-1651). These however, were designed for riding and not walking.

Brogues started as latchet shoes made as turnshoes, with a stiff sole stitched on after turning, sometimes there was a low heel added. These were favoured by the Scottish and Irish mercenaries who fought for numerous armies throughout Europe in the 17th century. Turnshoes are stitched inside out then turned right side out with the sole and heel added later. This method of construction protects the stitching from wear. Brogues increased their popularity in the eighteenth century when the machine was invented in the US to stitch uppers. Outside brogues were traditionally brown with black brogues kept strictly for formal dress occasions only. In Scotland and Ireland, the women of the upper class kept a pair of brogues for dress up wear. At the turn of the twentieth century, the Scottish lairds wore their brogues with a fringed tongue. The laces that fastened the shoes ran through slots formed by turning the top edges of the leather under, in a refined form of gillie. This made them more waterproof.

The English Style adopted the brogue and the fashion crossed the Atlantic, early 1900. In the 1920's the style grew increasingly elegant and was soon worn by women on outward-bound pursuits as the shoe became associated with sport. Its apotheosis was reached in the 1930's when the world's arbiter of fashion the Prince of Wales wore it as a golfing shoe and in a lighter form in suede with a grey lounge suit. The shoe became known as the spectator (or co-respondent in the UK) when made in two coloured leathers.

Two-tone leather brogue style was favoured by the fashion conscious during the jazz era. Later screen greats such as Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly wore the highbred brogues in many of their famous dance routines.

Another variation on the theme was the saddle shoe. Originally created for adults and children in 1910 the modified brogue was made from white buckskin with a black or brown leather instep (hence the saddle). By the 50's this style of shoe had been adopted by the young and was worn by both girls and boys. The former with bobby socks.

The style became official when a young Elvis Presley appeared in the film 'Jailhouse Rock" wearing white buckskin saddle shoes. Famous manufacturers like Florsheim have continued to make brogues in various guises. In 1996 this company developed a shoe, which had been chemically treated and did not require to be polished. Their promotional people reckoned ivy leaguers spent ten minutes per day shining shoes. The shoes were promoted with this in my mind and the potential buyer was enlightened as to what they could do with the 400 hours saved over their working career. In proper circles the brogue or semi brogue should not be worn after six o’clock in the evening.

Today there are two styles, the single brogue which consists of, an upper and a sole and the double brogue which has an added strip of leather (or welt) between the upper and the sole. Styles differed between full brogue and half brogue (or semi brogue). The significant difference between the two is the toecap; the former is winged and straight on the latter.

Barthelemy A 2001 Brogans In Benstock S & Ferriss S (eds) Footnotes: On shoes New Brunswick Rutgers University Press 179-196.
Ledger FE Put your foot down Melsham : Colin Venton
Mc Dowell C 1994 Shoes : Fashion and fantasy London: Thames & Hudson
Pattison A & Cawthorn N 1997 A century of shoes : Icons of style in the 20th century 1997 NSW: Universal International 84-93.
Pratt L & Wooley L 1999 Shoes London: Victoria and Albert Museum
Rossi WA (ed) 2000 The complete footwear dictionary Malabar: Kreiger Publishing
Vass L & Molnar M 1999 Handmade shoes for men Cologne: Konemann.
Wilson E 1969 A history of shoe fashions London: Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons
Wright T 1922 The romance of the shoe London: CJ Farncomb & Son

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Nicole Smallwood's new summer collection from Upper Street

Upper Street have a new summer collection by Nicole Smallwood called the SS14 collection . The summer collection was inspired by Miami and consists of two collections Miami Day and Miami Night. All styles are available in sizes 34-44 so the range caters for women with very small and large feet.

Friday, February 21, 2014

FeetZ Shoes: 3D Printed shoes custom made to fit feet

When you have feet that are in-between standard sizes or half sizes, or one foot is slightly different from the other, finding a comfortable pair of shoes can be especially difficult. FeetZ Shoes is using 3D printing technology to create 3D printed shoes custom made to fit customers’ feet. Customers can take three pictures of each foot and send them to FeetZ. Using specialized software, the company turn the pictures into a 3D model. The complete pair of shoes can be available within seven days. FeetZ are available in different styles and colors. Currently, the material available is a rubber-like substance, but FeetZ expects more materials to become available sometime within the next couple of years. FeetZ Shoes plan to start taking custom orders for shoes later this year.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Contessa Wafer stilettos :Pricey heels

A pair of diamond-encrusted shoes made from solid platinum has gone on sale for an eye-watering $116,000. The Contessa Wafer stilettos are available in silver, gold or platinum. The platinum pair cost $116,000; a gold pair will set you back $100,000, and those on a more modest budget can purchase a pair in silver for about $11,600. The stilettos are the work of British designer Christopher Michael Shellis and he creates and designs the shoes himself. He requires to work at temperatures of more than 1800 degrees as he uses a secret heating technique and the shoes are made to order. The footwear come with a thousand-year warrantee.

The Many Shoes of Carrie Bradshaw's Closet

Pop Chart Lab have obligingly released a print poster featuring the Carrie Bradshaw's infamous shoe collection from "Sex and the City" TV series"The Many Shoes of Carrie Bradshaw's Closet" features 50 hand-illustrated images of Bradshaw's most iconic pairs of stilettos from some of the character's most memorable on-screen moments. Each pair is listed with the episode or film they appeared in. Brooklyn-based brand Pop Chart Lab was launched in 2010, and has since gone on to create a name for itself as an infographic designer focusing on prints, clothing ranges and home accessories. The metallic Carrie Bradshaw poster, referred to by the brand as a ‘couture compendium,' has been released in time for New York Fashion Week and will start shipping from February 14. Prices start from $22.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Stefano Furiani: New Crocs on the block

Crocs Inc., the Colorado-based company is set to launch a collection under the name of its designer, Stefano Furiani, hoping that it might be able to target a higher-fashion consumer. The new collection will include career pumps, flats, mules and ankle-strap thongs in a variety of colors. The shoeswill continue to include the Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) made uppers and Croslite footbeds. To separate the Furiani brand with Crocs, the new collection will not be sold in Crocs stores or on its website. Instead, the range will roll out with limited distribution at about 30 different stores and online retailers, including The Tannery in Boston, Harry's Shoes in New York, Sportie LA in Los Angeles and Delivery is planned to take place in March.