11.19.2010

The Ruby Sneaker Re-Take: (I)D Shoe v. 2.0

Good girls go to heaven and bad girls go everywhere...in these shoes.  Dorothy would have gotten to Oz so much quicker had she been wearing ruby red sneakers.

Let me explain. Dearest readers, I have a little story for you today.  It begins with Kristin over at Nike contacting me (Ahhh what?! Nike? Right?) to essentially rebuild (jack up?) a sneaker.  The conversation went something like this: "I like your insane heel with spikes in it, do you think you could do something like that with a sneaker?!" (That's an oversimplification, a little.)  Ahh, YES! ...

 Above, the sneaker in its finished glory.

But sneakers? About that.  I'm not sure whether this was out there, but it might as well be now: the only athletic shoes I actually owned prior to this project are ones I've had since, well... too long to remember, and I used them exclusively for running, which means that I used them, oh, never.  (Who actually likes running? I never run!!) 

I am was not a sneaker girl.  Never say never.

As I sat in front of the nondescript brown parcel that arrived at my door, and that mismatched hodgepodge of rubbery, Skittle-colored, sample-size (which incidentally look like munchkin shoes to this owner of 4-sizes-larger-than-sample manfeet, ha) kicks stared back at me, I remembered why I am was scared of sneakers. Ahh, I thought, "Alien shoes!!" 

I remembered why I don't didn't do sneakers.  Blocky toes, bulbous rubbery bits... I like shoes slick and sleek and preferably enough so that they can (visually speaking) SLICE THROUGH THINGS. (And make you legs look like razors)  Slicey-dicey.  Why shouldn't sneakers be like that, you know?

I love a challenge. And I loveloveLOVE things that I hate, things that scare me.  You know that.  Sneakers? Turns out we're a perfect match.  

Here's what I was faced with (minus a few that got away somewhere). Okay, so I'm into this red. It reminds me of Dorothy's ruby red slipper.  (I was also feeling the black pair that somehow disappeared from this shot, more on that in a later post...)

Why was Dorothy wearing slippers anyway? They're sweet, but is this really a prudent choice for a girl running from lions, tigers, bears, monkeys and a wicked witch? Perhaps the better question is: Why did the witch even own kitten heels with almond toes??!!!!

Ruby red slippers? Try ruby red sneakers, a shoe with... TEETH. The wicked witch would have been into these. 

Here, I've torn the uppers off the soles and removed the insole.  There's all sorts of weird stuff they put in these things, no?  On the right, you see I've trimmed the toe into a sharper shape.  Much better.

Below, I'm building the platform (okay, you didn't think I was going to make them flat, did you?) from a foam soling material.  The pattern for the platform actually consists of seven separate patterns, each a bit smaller than the one before it.  I made the largest by tracing the insole of the shoe.  I then bonded them and sanded/ sculpted the living daylights out of it, until it was smooth and had the shape I wanted.  Here, you can see 1/323123 of the mess I managed to make with this disgusting foam dust.  I wore a face mask and an eye mask, and yet, still managed to cover myself in an occlusive layer of black foam rubber until I looked like a rubber monster. I should have taken a picture, but vanity got the best of me. Oh well.  On the left, you can see I've decided to add another 2 layers to the five I'd already sanded.  It's necessary to bond each layer one or two at a time, and then sand, as it makes shaping a lot easier.

Here, I'm rebuilding a leather midsole to attach to the leather. This was necessary because I needed to cut the upper from the sole, and then slice off the toe to change the shape of the shoe.  The third picture in is the leather I cut to make the pointed toe-box, after skiving (shaving), but before wet molding.  On the right, you can see I've begun to mold it.

Oh! And the sequins.  The ones on the shoe, I sewed by hand, to every bit of mesh that the sneaker had.

Below, the toe box is covered in sequins, the upper is bonded to the platform (after lots of sanding), and I'm covering the platform with ribbons of red sequins.  These red sequin ribbons were life-savers. Doing this one sequin at a time would have been impossible.



FINISHED PRODUCT. Dorothy's red ruby sneakers, (I)D x Nike style.




Ding-dong the witch is dead...



Melting... Melting... (no wait, combusting?)







34 comments:

Prêt à Porter P said...

This is incredible!! I know it's so lame to say this but I can see Lady Gaga wearing these. So is Nike going to produce these?

Cristin said...

They turned out amazingly! If sneakers looked like this, I'd wear them!

InnyVinny said...

I wish I had a more...wordy...and appropriate response, but all I could come up with was, "HOLY SHIT."

Eli said...

this is absolutely incredible! Im totally floored

Concrete Jungle said...

You are beyond amazing.....wow,wow,wow...so very cool!

katy said...

holy. shit.

these are incredibly, gorgeously, amazingly amazing. of course, i should have known you could work magic on even the most mundane of things!

long live I(D)! <3

http://www.dirtyhems.com

Griselda said...

Ohh....fantastico!!
an amazing display of creativity!

Anonymous said...

oh wow. these are perfect in every way. you are amazing. I'm in shock.

little augury said...

wicked.

smilla4blogs said...

Now, this is what I call thinking outside the 'boxy shoes!'I love the photographs!

Alcira Molina-Ali said...

These are insanely gorgeous -- you more than rose to the occasion. What a daunting task. You're a prodigious talent -- the shoes, the photography, is there anything out there you can't tame?
Wondrous good.
Cheers, Alcira

thenerochronicles.blogspot.com

Bimbobeautiful said...

Congrats to u for making the most amazing shoe ever!!

love ur blog

www.bimbobeautiful.com

xxxxx

jadore said...

I love that you made those! Incredible!

Samantha Nandez said...

Well done!! From regular blah shoe to perfectly (IN)Decorious!

joy said...

This is a powerful shoe! I have always thought of begging you to "fix" a pair of my shoes.

JD
iplayfaves.blogspot.com

champagnefrombeer said...

These are insanely amazing! Should I be keeping an eye out at Modell's?

-Kerri
www.champagnefrombeer.wordpress.com

Dee O. said...

WOW!!! Those are bananas lol, congrats on getting the call from Nike to do this, that is HUGE!! :)

That GOOD GOOD Blog

Mel said...

Soo talented! I love it!

Catherine said...

WOW! What an amazing transformation. I love how the sequins cover the platform as well. Just gorgeous! Your projects keep getting better and better. : )

- Catherine at Littlehouse of Style
http://littlehouseofstyle.blogspot.com/

Crystal said...

You are ridiculously awesome! I can't believe you hand sewed sequins. I tried doing that to a pair of tights once and gave up rather quickly. Serious though, your talent blows my mind.

Nadia DI$COUNT said...

There isn't much more to say apart from... I think I love you

Glamour Whore said...

I had to write about you and these... You're brilliant. http://theglamourwhore.blogspot.com/2010/11/indecorous-taste-turns-pair-of-nikes.html

Bronwyn Hope said...

You are an amazingly talented human being!

Love your blog!

http://www.coiffedandclad.blogspot.com/

M said...

Is it just random or are they inspired by John Galliano's sneakers? http://thestreethearts.com/2010/10/robert/

Naima Amarilli said...

You're a genius, nothing else to say babe!



http://giocodidonne.blogspot.com

Frock Around the Clock said...

They are amazing!! They have taken some serious talent. You know before i read this post, I saw these pictures and thought modern day Dorothy! Altogether now - "There's no place like home!" :) x

Georgette said...

I want these on my feet, like, NOW. Love these.

anastassia said...

So shiny. Love the pointed toe idea. Nobody ever plays with the pointedness of a sneaker.

Heather said...

WOW those are insane!!! And really awesome! I can see someone like Rihana totally rocking those!

http://fashionistanygirl.blogspot.com/

Mark Miner said...

I just came across your blog. Well done, I love the craft + creativity!

btw. I work at nike as a footwear designer, I designed those shoes that you used for this post. it is amazing to see how you transformed them.

be well

Mm

(IN)DECOROUS TASTE said...

Hi Mark, Thanks for stopping by. So glad you like the shoes!

Anonymous said...

Oh my god. Those are the most horrid things I've ever seen. And what's with the blurry pictures where you can't see anything?

Good workmanship though.

Vivi said...

wow, what a gorgeous idea! it's amazing!
maybe we could follow each other!?
xx Vivi

www.atelierwunderlampe.blogspot.com

RAR said...

I'm going to make a platform shoes and I want to ask what kind of glue did you use?

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