“It is true that the concept of luxury is not an absolute category...What is luxury for some is not luxury for others: to each their own luxury. Finally what is luxury today is not what it will be tomorrow”
One of the most important things for me when developing my designs is a consideration of what I use to make products, where it comes from and how materials can be cleverly utilised. As a designer that's a great responsibility. With so much "eco" hype it seems like everyone is eager to jump on the bandwagon and labelling something as such has become a way of selling products which are often not really that much less destructive to the environment. It's also made people a lot more sceptical. As I see it, I don't want any product I design to ultimately involve the suffering of any being or the environment. In particular where shoes are concerned leather is a tricky issue. Particularly in luxury, leathers often involve the uneccessary suffering of animals..(fur, exotics where snakes are skinned alive and even baby goats (kid), baby cow (calf) etc where the animals may be starved prior to slaughter to loosen the skin and so on).
No luxury product in my world could ever be a luxury to me where a sentient being has had to undergo such suffering. That doesn't mean I don't think leather should be used as a material - more the way it's created should be respected and appreciated as a product of something that was once living. Most people see it as a commodity and I think it's sad that we're so de-sensitized to it. Leather is beautiful. Once you understand how to work with it it's so addictive and is rightly the perfect material for making shoes.
I want to find a way of using leather that can also respect the creatures it came from and to do this is nigh impossible. Currently hides are traded globally following slaughter, and the majority of the world's leather comes from animals raised in developing countries where welfare standards are poor. How can you guarantee the leather you're using hasn't come from some poor animal half starved, transported thousands of miles and killed on a production line which slaughters 400 animals an hour? You can't - without the implementation of some kind of tracking system or certification. Enter Soil Association Organic. The Soil Association is the British body for Organic certification. Soil Association standards, “rigorously protect all aspects of animal well-being - from rearing, feeding and shelter, to transportation and slaughter.” So if you can buy Organic meat, why can't you buy Organic leather? Leather which guarantees the welfare of the animal as well as being of high quality: that's my mission.
I found these amazing pictures of bugs this morning by Thomas Shahan which made me feel a leeeetle bit squeemish but i think they're awesome. The colours and textures are so rich and inspiring, and after feeling like anything outside of red or black wasn't going to work for me I'm now thinking these could be such amazing colour inspiration..
Found this still of a film collaboration by echolab & korb for MTV (top) on notcot and it kind of reminded me of the work of Christo which I'm happily revisiting. His work fits in nicely with the Gina wrapped car concept, and i find the tree wrappings particularly interesting as you can see through to the branches inside.
so after a highly productive morning of discovering new blogs (always a winner) I'm getting down to it and writing the "strategic proposal" for my footwear collection.zzzz. First things first.. jacket by luxirare..I like how it looks like sequins but is actually chains. I'm still liking the idea of unusual embellishment, which I hadn't really considered before for my shoes. As for the dress..Bit of a shame it's a bit babydoll - think i'd want to hack that whole bottom bit off and the bottom of the sleeves to make it a bit more streamlined. Or if you look at the (top) mirrored picture and squint, it looks like some kind of halter neck chain harness jacket at the front which I think I prefer..maybe a bra covered in chains?? chain basque? Maybe I can do lingerie to go with my shoes.. argh strategic here i come..
So I'm currently going through a bit of a dilemma in terms of what to name my brand..do an own name/another new london designer trying to make it ..or do some meaningful other word (like terra plana) which sounds cool and I've yet to find. hmm. well after discovering "R.soles" on the Kings road today I can't help but think I can't do a worse job than that. seriously?!
After seeing the post about Dean Sidaway's shoulder pieces on dazed digital, it reminded me a bit of margiela and using everyday objects in unusual ways (like the key shoulder pad). Completely longing for this zip bracelet by Study_NY on Not Just A Label..(£40)..or maybe a DIY??
Since seeing the BMW Gina concept car last year I've been fascinated by the idea of moving components covered in web/fabric and how I can apply this to shoes. I was sooo happy to find the work of kite related design who do amazing kite sculptural installations. SO feeling this!
Kite Related Design Installations, BMW Gina Concept car (Core 77)
Being inspired by abstract colours and textures at the moment. I went to the Margiela exhibition in Munich in January and found this beautiful Gerhardt Richter painting when I was there.
and this amazing video by phantomcolour which sadly won't let me embed..but here's a screen shot. all about the bubbles. Maybe surface texture?? Bubbly heels..woohoooo! l'ascenseur" - squint from phantomcolor