No, they are not glass slippers but they certainly are magical.
The story begins in a Llorraine Neithardt’s ShoeFineArt high heel workshop in NYC in mid-August. My original vision for these shoes was more of an extension of my custom-made wedding dress. The vamp was to be a key-hole design that mimicked the beadwork on my gown (which was inspired by the filigree on my engagement ring) and the heel counter was to be a bustled design that matched the skirt of my gown. The class met first at Leather, Suede and Skins to pick out our outer and liner leathers. At Shindo, a Japanese ribbon shop, I was drawn to a pleated white satin ribbon that was partially over-layed with a sheer champagne fabric. At that point, I had no idea what I was going to do with it but I knew it belonged on these shoes in some fashion. Then, at MJ Trimming, Lorraine helped me find the perfect pre-beaded trim for the vamp. Back at the workshop, I changed my original vamp design to incorporate the beaded trim and we finished most of the original construction of the shoe.
Back home, I immediately started working on the trim-work design. I still had visions of bustling the heel counter with the extra dress fabric that I had received from my dressmaker, but kept feeling drawn to figuring out how to incorporate more of the ribbon into my design. I had also originally intended to only have the beadwork on the vamp and then decided to wrap the heel as well. The heel that I had chosen was slightly too high for my last, so I made a 1/4 inch platform out of veg-tan, wrapped it with the mesh fabric from the beaded trim, and hand-beaded it.
The beadwork was finally completed but I was still struggling with my final decision on what to do for the d’orsay heels. I wanted to layer the pleated ribbon but only had 1 yard of it and I also knew it was the last of the spool so I couldn’t order more. I also did not want the bottom white layer to show as I felt it was too much of a stark contrast to the rest of the gold and champagne hues. After working through several different designs, I decided to stretch the second and third layers over the first in order to diminish the bulkiness.
The end result far exceeded my expectations. Part of me wants to preserve these shoes in a glass case . . . but another part wants to dance the soles off . . .
*Click on the pictures in the gallery to see additional commentary and double click to view a larger image.