Elba is my first prototype. She's with a tester now to see how we she goes. Elba is a one-strap cement construction clog. The clog is a complete component made of wood with a rubber sole from Italy -very chic. I chose to use a padded insole, again using the cork. My goal was to align the fit of the insole better to the outsole and cover the insole in a cleaner manner than I had done on my recycled shoes. I even tried my hand at shaping the insole to the outsole (note the curve). I did a better job on the cover. You can see improvement in the edges and skiving. Sadly I didn't do too well on the size. In the end my insole is a bit too large. Lesson learned. Trim the insole before covering it. The decision to cut inside, outside or on a line can add or subtract a significant amount of area when several materials and components come together. Next I attacked the weight of the leather. I have a quantity of lightweight leather that I am using for much of my prototyping. Originally, I was going to secure the strap to the insole, but as my design developed, I decided on clog construction with decorative nails directly attaching the strap to the wood outsole. Either way, I thought the leather was too flimsy, so I backed it with cork to give it enough body. This was imperative for the nail method to work. You can see I glued my edges as if they were sewn. I skived the interior of the edges to try to get a smooth edge against the foot with partial success. I had given up on the flower before I backed my strap, but as you can see, I found a really great resolution. I merely cut the floral shape and balled up the leather to create a distressed and wrinkled effect. I attached the shapes to the strap with thin leather cord that acts as the pistils. In my next pair, this will happen before I back the strap. The nails were also a trip. A couple didn't nail in smoothly and making them symmetrical was a chore. If you look carefully at the side view you will see that I chose to use only 3 nails, my aesthetic preference. That might be a mistake. I'll have to see what my tester says about how they hold up.
Shoe Pop at the Philadelphia Museum of Art's new exhibit, International Pop. There's not much fashion included, but this display sure does make a statement. Created by Argentinian artist, Dalila Puzzovio in 1967 as a reaction to the lack of response to trends in Argentinian Fashion, these colorful shoes were an avante-garde, contemporary couture contrast to the usual (at the time) black and brown styles of the day. The award winning sculpture was displayed in the windows of Argentinian shoe chain, Grimoldi, the perfect foil for blurring the lines between mass-production and Art. These baby are certainly part of the shoe vernacular today. International Pop February 24, 2016 - May 15, 2016
Heck with the dresses on the red carpet, the shoe design winner is Jimmie Choo. I wish the starlet would choose gowns that show their shoes, but that is generally not the case. Thank heaven for Footwear News's big reveal. Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon, Olivia Munn, Isla Fisher and Heidi Klum all sported various sparkly, stiletto sandals with minimal straps. This year featured the platform Pearl (a rising red carpet star) that gives height, other popular styles - the Molly and the Minnie .
It's the holidays, time for walking in heels. It doesn't come naturally to many women. Here are few tips to help you walk with grace, elegance and attitude in your holiday best. First, find a pair of sky-high heels that work well with your foot. Comfort is all in the vamp. Try on a bunch of brands and find one or two the fit your foot. Don't worry about the price point. Shoedazzle offers a great vamp for me at a very affordable price. Once you find the brand, make sure to find a style you LOVE. Get the correct size. Remember that shoe lasts come in many sizes, but stores purchase only a limited selection. My foot measures a 6 1/2 D, but I have to buy a 7 B because most stores only carry whole and half sizes in B. If it is your first time out, steer clear of stilettos for your maiden voyage. Start with a wedge that offers good stability. If you are a novice try a 3" heel or choose a platform. Once you get these babies home make sure you scuff up the soles. This will help you avoid slipping. Next, test them out on the rug, the tile, the hardwood floor, the sidewalk, the driveway, the grass, as many surfaces as you can find. You will need to negotiate each surface a little differently. Stand tall, shoulders back, hips and knees relaxed. Remember that book on the head routine? Step forward with confidence, head held high, heel first and move heel-toe, heel-toe in small steps, shorter than your natural stride. Feeling a bit awkward? Deep breath, start again and practice, practice, practice. Sit whenever you can and show us your shoes. Elongate your torso, sitting elegantly tall and either demurely cross your legs at the ankles or display your gorgeous gams with a cross at the knee. Add a little swing for attitude and you know you've graduated.