Double posting madness – Part 2… 2 in one day!

Nope, this isn’t another recipe post for some sort of Potato dish… this one’s all about the shoes baby!

As mentioned earlier, I took on a commissioned job to make some ‘fashion forward’ shoes for a lovely gal by the name of Nerida King who is currently studying textile design at RMIT. Her semester’s project entailed her hand-weaving these awesome Guatemalan inspired fabrics and then justifying their usefulness in the modern world by applying them to a sale-able product (other than another satchel or tea towel).

Her idea was to make some shoes, and luckily for both of us she had a friend recommend this here “oh, I can make anything from anything” shoemaker with a penchant for woven fabrics and unusual shoes. A perfect match it  seems!
The second idea was to use a digitally scanned and printed example of her fabric to increase its commercial viability… no one is going to hand weave enough fabric to make a whole range of shoes in this day and age it seems, so why not embrace the new technologies on offer and merge the old and the new?

So, we met in a cafe, I (probably) overwhelmed her with enthusiasm, and we traded some emails, sketches and fabric scans until we came up with this design as chosen for prototype #1.

I acually made 2 rough and quick prototypes first, of 2 differing designs, but this one had the most appeal.

To make the deadline of a Sunday morning photoshoot I got to work on making these over a 2 day period and had them ready and waiting to dry out by Saturday lunchtime. Still a little slower than i’d like to be, but quick enough to make this whole handmade shoes idea profitable for me in the long run.

Here’s the pics (there’s a lot, so they’re small, click em for maximum big-ness) :

patterns and pieces…

insole shaping and wrapping

digital printed cotton (turned out not as black as she planned, but it was fine for this task)

fabric and cotton pieces ‘laminted’ to a leather backing, and wrapped / piped edges applied.

construction! what a mind bender this was… zips, compound curves, 6 layers of material! ouch.

…coming together now.

I decided to add a yellow collar to the design for some ‘pop’. Artistic license was taken.

assembled and lining added.

makin’ wedges.. Cut ’em out, stack ’em up, sand them down.

… and there you go. curvaceous wedges, a dusty half hour later.

wrap those babies up in suede. Very profesh looking. Then I lasted the uppers.

Lasted, taking shape, 11pm. Happy Steve.

adding the wedges… the design we chose has a fancy upper-wrapped-wedge feature.

…cut a channel for the leather to nest into. wrap and glue it.

Add in some ‘socks’ with my pre-logo logo on them (new official logo is almost done btw!)

All done! Looking fuckin’ ace.

detail shots… check the (intentionally) unmatched upper patterns. Beautiful huh?

Contrast CENTRAL. Smooth/Rough, New/Old, Plain/Patterned. We’ve got it all covered. 

The outsoles are a bit of a let down i must admit… but there were going straight to an outdoor photoshoot, so I decided against spending another hour sanding and lacquering them only to have it destroyed a day later.

All in all a TOTAL success. So, keep your ear out for Nerida’s name in the near future…
I think this will be the start of a few more collaborations over the coming years, not that i’ve discussed that with her! Nerida? Is that ok?