Out of Step is a new exhibition of avant garde footwear designs by Royal College of Art graduates at Somerset House for London Fashion Week. Over the past two decades the RCA has trained some of the most exciting and innovative footwear designers working in fashion today.
Marilyn Monroe famously once said, “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world”. It goes without saying that shoes can have an important and powerful affect on how we feel about ourselves and how others perceive us. Whether it’s a sexy pair of heels or a comfortable pair of flats. But what is it that inspires a shoe designer to innovate and reinterpret this familiar everyday form? Why do some designers choose to cross the line into something more abstract?
The exhibition features shoes by 16 designers who question both the form and function of shoes. From the groundbreaking use of material such as Iva Minkova’s glass shoe; Chau Har Lee’s perspex platform or Tariq Mahmoud’s men’s fur brogue to the extraordinary sculptural shapes of Georgina Goodman’s curved heel or Rachel Chang’s carved wooden creations. And product designers Eelko Moorer and Marloes Ten Bhomer who are pushing the concept of footwear to their very limits.
Flora McLean, RCA Fashion Footwear, Millinery & Accessories Tutor said: “These avant garde designs are shining examples of new methods of shoe construction, mastery of technique and new invention. RCA students are encouraged to play with materials, systems and design, alongside traditional methods of making to discover new possibilities for footwear."
Curator of the exhibition, footwear designer and RCA PhD Fashion student Ellen Sampson added: “This exhibition reflects how shoe design is an art form in its own right and highlights the innovations emerging from the RCA studios. Many of the exhibiting designers are now working in the fashion industry but as students they had the freedom to develop their creative skills as artisans and designers.”
THE EXHIBITING DESIGNERS ARE:
Georgina Goodman – Fashion Womenswear Footwear graduate, 2001
Shanit Elkayam-Adam – Fashion Womenswear Footwear graduate, 2002
Marloes Ten Bhomer – Design Products graduate, 2003
Eelko Moorer – Design Products graduate, 2005
Tracey Banks – Fashion Womenswear Footwear graduate, 2006
Heather Blake – Fashion Womenswear Footwear graduate, 2006
Mara Hjelm – Fashion Womenswear Footwear graduate, 2007
Nina Hjorth – Fashion Womenswear Footwear graduate, 2008
Chau Har Lee – Fashion Womenswear Footwear graduate, 2009
Maurice Van Der Stouwe – Fashion Womenswear Footwear graduate, 2012
Tariq Mahmoud – Fashion Menswear Footwear graduate, 2012
Aku-Petteri Backstrom – Fashion Menswear Footwear graduate, 2012
Rachel Chang – Fashion Womenswear Footwear graduate, 2013
Julia Thomas – Fashion Womenswear Footwear graduate, 2013
Iva Minkova – Fashion Womenswear Footwear graduate, 2013
Ellen Sampson – Fashion Womenswear PhD student
Source: London Fashion Week