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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Hetty Rose: how to create beautiful shoes from old kimonos

Shoe designer Henrietta Samuels makes beautiful bespoke shoes from kimono remnants. Here's an excerpt of her interview in Amelia's Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Tania Kowalski was a workshop manager at a well-known contemporary jewellery gallery in London when Synnove Saelthun arrived from New York to join the design team. They soon discovered that they had similar views on design and business ethics, more about cialis 40mg and became good friends. Several years later they started the Oria brand, prescription using Synnove’s design skills and Tania’s production expertise. Synnove is a technically brilliant goldsmith with a passion for design and an eye for detail. Tania is a trained jeweller, viagra with a wide range of experience in the jewellery industry, from design creation through to production. Her expertise includes sourcing ethical materials and ensuring fair business practice.

Tania’s passion for other cultures has led her to visit remote tribes in the Amazon of Brazil, hill tribes in Nepal and the Dogon people of Mali. It was during these travels that she became fascinated with the cultural importance and symbolic meaning of tribal adornment. When designing a new collection, the couple sit down together to discuss what the new collection will symbolise. They research and refine story boards, and after ensuring that the designs are technically feasible Synnove makes an initial prototype, the best of which will go into production.

The use of the phoenix is a symbol of honesty and justice in Chinese mythology, and is one of the inspirations for the Nina collection. The lotus symbolises purity and beauty in many different cultures, and it inspired their silver lotus collection.

Working in Nepal Tania discovered that the safe working conditions and fair living wages which we take for granted in the West are not necessarily the norm in other parts of the world. This early experience was important in persuading Tania to commit to fairtrade sourcing as a founding principle of Oria.

Vintage fashion, about it illustrated by Matilde Sazio

Kim Sklinar, viagra sale aka Preloved Reloved, cheap has set herself an interesting New Year’s challenge. For the duration of 2011, Kim isn’t going to buy any new clothes. No more high-street bargains, no more feeding corporate giants, no more fast-fashion waste, no siree. ‘Another one?’ I hear you cry – and you’d be right. But this one is a little different.

While Kim hopes to raise awareness about the amount of cheap clothing we purchase and what effects that has on the environment and people’s lives, there’s also a bigger reason closer to home. Kim’s father was diagnosed with cancer over 18 months ago, and she decided to set up the project to raise funds for Macmillan, the cancer care and support charity. Unfortunately, as of only last week, Kim’s dad won’t see the project through its fruition. But Kim will dedicate the project to his memory.

So, how do you do it? Well, Kim’s vowed to buy only vintage and from outlets like eBay, and she’ll spend more time in charity shops which also benefits all of the organisations that run them. I had a chat with her about the project and how she thinks she’ll manage it all…


Vintage shop, illustrated by Karolina Burdon

What gave you the idea for Preloved, Reloved in the first place?
Well I always like to dress a little differently. My style is mainstream with a retro edge, I suppose. I always seem to end up with a daft New Year’s resolution – last year I cycled from London to Paris for The Institute of Cancer Research. I like using my time to help others and spread awareness.

Were you a fan of vintage and upcycling before you started the project?
Yes! I always admire my friends’ outfits; well, those who wear vintage and second-hand fashion. Upcycling is something I have experimented with for ages at home and now is the time to make sure I actually finish some projects!

Where will you source your outfits?
Charity shops, vintage stores, eBay, my mum’s wardrobe…! I made a lined cape last night from linen and satin for balmy summer nights (booking a holiday soon!).


Charity shops, illustrated by Rukmunal Hakim

What does the project hope to achieve?
I want to raise awareness of numerous charities related to my Dad’s illnesses. I want my friends to know that too much of an unhealthy lifestyle is probably going to lead to an early demise. I also want to raise the profile of vintage and second-hand fashion; I remember as a kid we use to take the mick out of anyone who dressed from a charity shop. I myself as a student had a stigma against them. Now it’s become kitsch, cool and quirky. It’s good for the environment.

How much do you hope to raise and what are the funds likely to be used for?
£2500 is my Just Giving target – it goes directly to Macmillan. However, with my shopping at many different charity shops, my cash goes straight to them – win win all round! I have my thinking cap on about how to expand the project though.


eBay! Illustration by Avril Kelly

Why did you choose Macmillan?
My dad (and his dad) had cancer – he died last week unfortunately. And it wasn’t the cancer that killed him, it was his heart and his adult-onset diabetes. A poor lifestyle in his twenties and thirties caused it and he was only 57 when he passed. So as I said before, this project benefits other charities focussing on these causes too through me spending money at their outlets.

Not that far in, but have you come accross any problems so far? Has anything that happened that you weren’t expecting?
Avoiding shops is quite hard as I realised I can’t just pop into the Topshop sale and treat myself – which I suppose is good for my wallet and I’m going to do less impulse-buying on the way home from work.
With my Dad passing, I haven’t had as much time to go browsing shops as much as I’d like. This weekend, however, I’m going to the Girls of Guildford vintage fair and gig – for some serious retail therapy, cupcake-nomming and also to check out some great live music away from the bustle of London.


Vintage, illustrated by Jess Holt

What are you wearing today? Where’s it all from?
Dark blue skinny jeans, leather knee boots that I already owned with black and cream patterned blouse from River Island that I bought from Cancer Research UK. I’m also wearing red rose earrings from Magnolia Jewellery.

Do you plan to make or alter any of your clothes? If so, how?
Yes – I love sewing and making jewellery too – I made a cape last week and have upcycled a pair of old, torn jeans from my uni days into a denim mini. I have a small collection of retro patterns including a lovely dress with a pussy bow. I love being able to create something out of fabric I love: last year I went to a lovely Indian wedding and couldn’t find The Outfit – so I made a purple maxi-dress with a halterneck and glammed it up with ribbons dangling down my back. Saved myself a fortune too!


Illustration by Gilly Rochester

What else do you get up to?
I run Never Enough Notes – a music e-zine, and I’m cycling the London-Brighton this summer with my brother and friends to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

What would be your perfect Preloved, Reloved outfit?
For daytime it would easily be vintage jeans, brown boots that look a bit worn-out, a floaty shirt or cheeky tee, a tweed jacket and a battered satchel.
For evening, I love ball gowns and retro dresses so would be something glam that I could wear with a pair of 1970s heels! Oh there’s way too much choice, I love it!


Photographs by Kim Sklinar

You can follow Kim’s efforts at the Preloved, Reloved blog; donate online here.
Junky Styling S/S 2010 by Aniela Murphy
Junky Styling S/S 2010 by Aniela Murphy.

Annika Sanders and Kerry Seager are self-taught fashion designers. They started up Junky Styling after they received lots of compliments for their deconstructed and restyled secondhand suits made to go out clubbing in during the 1990’s.

What prompted your approach to dressmaking?
Our approach was initially borne out of a lack of money but it soon became a necessity for individuality and quality. At first Annika’s mother did most of the sewing so our designs were heavily directed by her.

Have you seen many changes over the years?
Aside from all the wrinkles on our faces? We have seen the tangible development of a marketplace that never existed before. Education has enabled the sustainable movement to become more widely accepted and understood, approved and now many new brands think about sustainability before they even start designing.

Where did you go out in the past and do you still go clubbing?
We went to a wide mixture of venues that hosted a similar dressy scene. It was such a brilliant time, and we still enjoy socialising and a bit of a shuffle. But we always try to ensure that we are not the oldest at the bar…

Read the rest of this interview and see more illustrations of Junky Styling’s clothing in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, alongside interviews with 44 other ethical fashion designers and 30 fabulous fashion illustrators. You can buy the book here.
You’ve been going for a very long time. Have attitudes to ethical fashion started to change yet?
Consumers are starting to question the huge exploitation of people and the environment that permits their clothing to be so cheap, treat because it doesn’t add up. There is still a long way to go but the fashion industry is slowly changing the way it does business.

What has the People Tree brand achieved?
We support 5, website like this 000 farmers, case artisans and their families in developing countries by producing well designed fairtrade and sustainable products. For us it’s about creating sustainable livelihoods that put food on the table at the end of the day.

You’ve collaborated with both Bora Aksu and Karen Nichol. What have they brought to People Tree?
We’ve worked with Bora for four years because we share the view that good fashion design should last for years. He is a master of beautiful, feminine draped designs that we produce in organic and fairtrade cotton, and we’ve already started designing an exciting new collection for S/S 2012. Like me Karen is passionate about handicrafts and she loves traditional Japanese textiles and designs. She works with our hand knitters in Nepal to create beautiful appliquéd and hand embroidered embellishments
You’ve been going for a very long time. Have attitudes to ethical fashion started to change yet?
Consumers are starting to question the huge exploitation of people and the environment that permits their clothing to be so cheap, see because it doesn’t add up. There is still a long way to go but the fashion industry is slowly changing the way it does business.

What has the People Tree brand achieved?
We support 5, try 000 farmers, artisans and their families in developing countries by producing well designed fairtrade and sustainable products. For us it’s about creating sustainable livelihoods that put food on the table at the end of the day.

You’ve collaborated with both Bora Aksu and Karen Nichol. What have they brought to People Tree?
We’ve worked with Bora for four years because we share the view that good fashion design should last for years. He is a master of beautiful, feminine draped designs that we produce in organic and fairtrade cotton, and we’ve already started designing an exciting new collection for S/S 2012. Like me Karen is passionate about handicrafts and she loves traditional Japanese textiles and designs. She works with our hand knitters in Nepal to create beautiful appliquéd and hand embroidered embellishments
How did the idea of working with old porcelain come about? 
I was tired of producing other peoples’ ideas (as a stage producer) so in 2007 I decided to start working on my own project, dosage which soon developed into my rapidly growing label, stomach Sägen. I go to flea markets as often as I can for inspiration and to collect source material; I have amassed a huge collection of vintage buttons as well as piles of chipped and damaged porcelain that is no longer wanted. I like to work with my hands and I love turning items from the past into modern accessories. 

Sägen means Old Saga in Swedish – why did you chose this name for your brand?
I come from a small island called Gotland in the middle of the Baltic Sea and I have wonderful memories of listening to all the old myths when I was a kid. I came up with the idea for Sägen when I was there and the name reflects my interest in recycling a little bit of history into new treasures, so I find the name very suitable.

How do you cut the porcelain and set it in silver?
I cut and grind the porcelain with machines, which is a very dirty, dusty and dangerous job: I have been close to losing my fingers many times. When I am working in my basement studio I forget about everything else, instead focusing on the patterns that I am obsessed with. I decide what shapes to make up depending on the motifs in the porcelain, then I set the porcelain in silver (which is 98% recycled) so that it curves, bends and stretches around the shape I have cut out.
Ivana Basilotta S/S 2011 by Bex Glover
Ivana Basilotta S/S 2011 by Bex Glover.

Ivana Basilotta is Italian but has lived in Germany as well as the UK. She channels her observations of different cultures into her work, treatment sometimes the ideas flowing so fast that her pen can’t keep up and her scissors can’t cut the fabric fast enough. Quite often she only realises she was inspired by a certain idea once the collection has been finished. Having previously studied business Ivana is well placed to run her label, prostate and feels that a good business knowledge is as important as the creative force of a design house.

A committed vegetarian, she designs with peace silk, which is made in India without the killing of the silk moth. Because peace silk is spun as a fibre rather than reeled as a thread it is warmer and softer than ordinary silk. “I cannot imagine eating meat,” she says. “I find it strange that people eat dead animals.” She feels that being a vegetarian brings a great sense of freedom and well being, and it is an easy way to lead a greener life. “Farm land that could directly produce food for humans is used to farm and feed animals for slaughter, which uses up far more resources.” She does not like to imagine the stress and sorrow that farmed animals must experience, and wants no part in it…

Read the rest of this interview with Ivana Basilotta in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, alongside interviews with 44 other ethical fashion designers and 30 fabulous fashion illustrators. You can buy the book here.
bex_glover_howies_collection
Howies by Bex Glover.

Howies has since 1995 pioneered the creation of ethical active clothing with a strong design aesthetic. Based in Cardigan Bay, case Wales, remedy the company has built up a devoted fan base via its affiliation with outdoor sports such as surfing, order mountain biking and skateboarding. Products are made from high performing sustainable fabrics that will last, with a proportion of profits ploughed back into grassroots social and environmental projects via the Earth Tax. Although some clothes are made in China and Turkey they ensure best practice by employing the same factories as other companies they trust, such as M&S…

Read the rest of this interview and see more illustrations of Howie’s clothing in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, alongside interviews with 44 other ethical fashion designers and 30 fabulous fashion illustrators. You can buy the book here.
Hetty Rose by Lesley Barnes
Hetty Rose by Lesley Barnes.

You make bespoke shoes… if I wanted a pair of shoes for myself how would the process work?
I create a collection each season from which clients can choose a design, ailment then they decide which vintage Japanese kimono fabric they would like their shoes made up in. Clients can alter the shape and height of the heel so that the shoes are totally unique to them. I usually meet them personally if they are UK based, and we have tea whilst I measure their feet and bring them fabric samples to muse through. It’s a very interactive purchase, with the client involved in every step of the design because I want them to have an emotional attachment to the shoes so that they will treasure them and love wearing them. I email them photos during the process of making the shoes so they can see them being created. At the halfway point they are ready for a fitting and after that I finish off the sole and attach the heels. The whole process takes around six to eight weeks and prices start from £350. With international clients everything is done via email – it’s exciting for them to receive a pair of shoes all the way from a little workshop in England.

How else can someone get a pair of your shoes?
Following increased sales and press attention we have decided to extend the Hetty Rose brand to a wider audience, who will be able to own a precious piece of designer footwear at a more affordable price point and without the long wait for a pair of bespoke shoes. Our Ready to Wear collection features some of our best selling styles in kimono fabrics, and can be bought directly from our website. In the future I plan to add more accessories such as bags, baby shoes, homewares and ties for men…

Read the rest of this interview with Hetty Rose in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, alongside interviews with 44 other ethical fashion designers and 30 fabulous fashion illustrators. You can buy the book here.

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2 Responses to “Hetty Rose: how to create beautiful shoes from old kimonos”

  1. natasha says:

    Such an interesting piece! I have just moved to Singapore from the UK and there are stunning Kimonos everywhere. The prints are mind blowing and the details are beautiful. Would make great shoes. I love how you feel like you are getting some custom made shoes too – choosing fabrics etc.

  2. I saw some samples in che camille in glasgow….and close up Hetty Rose shoes are just amazing! think I might have to save up for a pair……wonder if they give discounts for small feet!

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