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Customised Shoe Couture Bespoke Foot Fashion



By Sanhati Banerjee

Plan Your Wedding brings to you an account of the amazing trend of bespoke shoes that come with the perfect fit and flair. there are also the transferable shoes that come with one sturdy sole and the option of changeable uppers as well as the high-end customised shoes that take into account not only the wearer’s taste and fit, but the weather and flooring too!

What’s in a shoe? Well, a lot. Your shoes can give a definition to your posture; infuse a dash of glamour to your persona and attitude to your carriage. Apart from bearing the footprints of solid craftsmanship combined with the hallmarks of style, shoes are often the entry points to various worlds of styles and statements. For instance, a pair of chic pumps will carry you into the world of sophisticated femininity while a pair of stone-encrusted stilettoes into the world of a diva. A pair of well-crafted wedges bring in the casual chic factor while neon shaded pumps can make you feel like a starlet. Shoes –– the shades you choose, the materials you pick, the embellishment or no-embellishment code that you choose to flaunt, not to forget the straps, ribbons, buckles and buttons that come riding on them have given shoe fashionistas or shoe aficionados a lot to mull on. Shoe lover, are you? Well, maybe that’s not for the everyday divas who are too comfortable in their shoes but definitely it holds true for the ones who are too sexy for their shoes! Many-a-self-confessed designer who would love to create their own versions of shoes or for that matter, the amateur self-styled ones who would love to cure (read change a lot many things about) the pairs they own or see on the shelves are actually known to be maintaining their own shoe diaries, believe it or not! They scribble down a lot of their own ideas, sketch a few rough or ready-to-use diagrams, pour in their wishlists and even pin on materials on their design boards that they would love to use in their creations. There may be many of you who have often thought about creating a dedicated shoe page on your blog or maybe you have already started a one or have even crafted a few pieces and would love to share your DIY shoes ideas with your friends and followers, then you should be delighted to know that the concept of customised shoes are here! Now, you can part-design, customise, take-something-out-of-here-and-put-it-there-or-simply have transferable shoes. You can make a bespoke pair with the technical add-ons and made-for-you services that shoe designers are thoughtfully providing their customers with.

 

 

On the Bespoke Board
What is a bespoke shoe? Obviously, as the word ‘bespoke’ suggests, it’s something that’s made exclusively for you, tailor-made to suit your feet shape, design concepts and to ensure perfect fittings. How many times have you felt that even though you have found your shoe size (most of us have no difficulty in finding our shoe sizes) there’s something wrong with the form — an extra-narrow bit in the front side causing your feet to jut out especially if it’s a peep toe or even a wedge or too-tight sides causing pain and those ugly shoe marks? Or a too-wide open back combined with the narrow front making your feet feel like they are out on an odious journey? Then, a bespoke shoe can really be your bet. Because, it’s often not about the size, but about the shape and the fitting as even while operating under the same size bracket, there are unique requirements that we have when it comes to our toe shape, flat foot issue, broad feet panel and others. Same as your body type and the fitting problems one faces with dresses. And talking about the creative quotient, you get to be a co-creator of this bespoke pair thus unleashing the designer in you. The term bespoke is not limited to getting the made-for-you form and fitting or shape and silhouette but it also applies to the occasion ––the purpose, the theme, the scale, the style that go into making that occasion truly yours. All of these are also taken into account while creating the design board. So, what can you expect under the umbrella term of ‘bespoke shoe services’? Shoe-designer Serene Gandhi of Cara Pyramids explains “We first start off with our bespoke form available on our website, wherein the client can fill in their details and purpose for bespoke services, through which we pre-determine options to place in front of them, then we take down the markings of their feet and create a mould according to their foot shape and size. Once that’s out of the way we start the designing process, halfway through we call in the client for fittings or if any design changes they want then the finishes are done and the parcel is sent. For clients who don’t want to get into detailed services, we have semi-bespoke services as well in which the client can mix and match from our off-the-rack collections or if they want to change the materials and play with the colours, the price for these services are the same as our off-the-rack products on our website.”Typically, bespoke shoe service would include creating that personalised design board, infusing the perfect elements, materials, getting the shades customised to suit the occasion and bringing in the factor of costume-complementarity apart from getting the perfect fit.
 

 

 

Walk the Transformable Lane
We asked Vivek Sethi, co-founder, www.solester.com, a transformable shoe brand for women what exactly is a transformable shoe; to which he explained to us that these are shoes that can “transform in to different looks or designs with the help of detachable elements”. At Solester,“we have made this with the help of detachable uppers thereby changing the entire look and feel of the footwear” adds Vivek Sethi. Similar to the concept of a multi-use piece of jewellery like those chandelier earrings with detachable clasps and necklaces with detachable straps; those pieces of jewellery from which you can take out a part and attach another wherein the concept is that the base remains the same but you can wear different drop-sections with an earring or different neck straps with the same pendent. So convenient, so value-added! You can save so much in you budget with these multi-use products without running the chance of wearing the same stuff again and again. The shoes at Solester are designed with a similar concept–– one durable, strong sole and multiple uppers to match your dress every morning when you go out for work or for those frequent day outs or evening soirees. These can come handy for women who love to experiment with their footwear /accessories and who are on the go. The ratio of the designer-customer inputs while creating this kind of a shoe is 80-20 where the design technicalities and possibilities are assessed and drafted by designers and the comfort part is assessed by the customers. All of these, at a pre-design stage and hence this is as close to shoe customisation as you can get. “We believe in the traditional approach of sketching the designs on drawing sheets and getting them prototyped for further rectifications” adds Vivek Sethi. At Solester, they also provide online and offline customer support for any issues related to the footwear. No specific guidance or service is needed as these shoes are like any normal footwear with the only difference being the changeable uppers. “With our easy-to-change interchangeable uppers, no specific guidance or expertise is needed. The loop or snap buttons that we use to attach uppers to the sole are quite self-explanatory and changing them is as simple as counting one, two, three!” he explains.

 

 

The High Art of Customising
Shoe couturist Vidhi Kejriwal, who designs for DVAR says that she gets orders for customised shoes for purposes and occasions as diverse as corporate board meetings and conferences as well as for weddings, anniversary celebrations, birthdays and even baby showers. The bridal shoe wardrobe needs to be designed meticulously for each function enhancing the ensemble and the overall look of the bride-to-be. “We have even made customised orthopaedic shoes for the mother of the bride who needed luxurious shoes for her expensive Indian saree but wanted to be comfortable standing for long hours. Orthopaedic bridal shoes are exclusive to “Vidhi Kejriwal’s collection” she says. Creating a customised bridal shoe wardrobe involves a lot of thinking on the would-be-bride’s part too. So you get a feeling of a co-conceptualiser and definitely it can work as a platform for showcasing your latent designer instincts. But more than that, it is a process that aims at paying attention to all the details as the final result is that of a piece crafted with meticulousness. If you are a bride-to-be, then first and foremost you need to chalk out your ceremonies, plan your outfits for all the occasions––engagement, sangeet, mehendi, cocktail, wedding ceremony, reception and honeymoon (yes, even the post wedding bit). Second, you will need to think about how much heel you would be comfortable in and also have a working estimate of those long hours in which you will be required to stand. And in case, you are thinking of being the bride who danced at her wedding, then you will need a different kind of customisation altogether. Third, zeroing in on the outfits that you are going to wear for the ceremonies––for instance, whether it is going to be a “heel covering saree or a floor length gown” can make a whole lot of difference to creating the bridal pair, points out the shoe couturist. The list does not end here. The venue and the flooring––wood, carpet, tile or grass lawn, are of greater importance than you may have considered them to be. “As the shoe couturist, I will create the design board for the full wardrobe and each shoe to help the bride think through all these details” says Vidhi Kejriwal. The creation of a high-end customised shoe such as done by Kejriwal involves specific steps––understanding the customer’s likes and dislikes, conceptualising and designing the shoe, selecting components (heels, fitting, trims), construction of the shoe on high tech Italian machines, fitting trials and delivery of a finished shoe.As a bride-to-be, you can wear those customised shoes to make a unique statement and for everyday use, this concept(s) are in sync with multi-purpose range of apparel and accessories that modern women just love both for their fashion, fun and utilitarian quotients. And in case, you are wondering about post-design maintenance of your bespoke shoes then fret not. From 24/7 online support to detailed care instructions that come with the parcel and getting post-design support and care from your shoe designer at a nominal charge, the options galore. Get out of the mould of wearing shoes-for-all and give this concept of just-for-you shoes a try.

 


Tips for Styling Shoes at Weddings
•For brides, it’s very important they go light on their shoes as their outfits are bound to be very heavy, I usually suggest them to go for Persian embroideries with beads as opposed to the Indian embroidery, or laser cut uppers with Swarovski.
•We also request for the same material as used in their outfits to give a more customised look.
•Today’s brides want to be comfortable in their shoes as they know they are going to be standing for a long time in their wedding, hence I recommend wedge heels for the reception. I am sure they would love to be a part of all the dancing at the sangeet, I would recommend a single lift 3” sandal as the heel is stable and it works well with fish tail lehengas, shararas and sarees, typical outfits for sangeet.
•Peep toes look great with cocktail gowns. For the engagement ceremony, everything is new and exciting so in the shoes you can experiment with trims and heels.
•For your honeymoon, you need to think about where you are going, whether it’s the Maldives or the Swiss Alps and create a shoe wardrobe accordingly.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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