Wednesday, July 28, 2010

'Horsing around' and 'being luxuriously sustainable' at Carnaby Street (2010)

Around two weeks (or perhaps more!) ago, I went to see some examples of student's work at Carnaby Street (for LCF 2010 Cordwainers Footwear Design) and well, I wasn't suppose to but I did manage to take a photo of one work which struck me. 

This prototype was designed by graduate, Harriet Holt (

Up close, it was made out of horse skin and had the horse shoe. There are no heels for support. One has to support at the ball area of the foot (like standing on tip-toes though not that drastic!). 

Here are more pictures from the designer's page:

Prototype on the model

Up-close and 'personal'

The design was based on the concept of therianthropy - the metamorphosis of a human into an animal or a being which is part human, part animal - as found in both classical mythology and popular culture. Honestly, the show piece scared me a little bit at first. However, after a second look, I began to appreciate the construction and the effort taken to make the shoe. It's one of the design I can't take my eyes off!

Another work which I saw nearby this stand was the work by Helen Furber. It has been the talk of the town (well digital-wise through blogs) the last few weeks.The designer takes an innovative spin of being sustainable with her design.  The life cycle of the shoe is redefined. The shoe goes through layers that are then recyclable or biodegradable after they have been worn and torn. The leather used (by Soil Association certified Organic leather by Natureally) is organic in a sense that during the whole process, every animal has been treated to the highest standards. The collection was sponsored by Y-3 Adidas.

These images and photographs are from a mix from sources, 'Outsapop' (also via 'Stylebubble') and Helen Furber's website (

The footwear prototype using organic leather.

The wedge unit.

From the source describing the collection:

"Icica Concept Wedge rexamines luxury footwear materials and construction. The result is an avant-garde product which aims to challenge the traditional footwear product life-cycle."

I loved the idea behind the design and basically, it is something all designers seem to be steering towards, sustainability. Unfortunately, it hasn't been manufactured for the market yet. If so, I would love to get a pair of these shoes as I love the structure and construction.

Lastly, a promotional video of the project:

Icica from Helen Furber on Vimeo.

Alternatively, view it through this link:

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