I've spoken about the shoe lasts before and how important they are to both the
design and comfort of the shoe. The last can also be an integral part of inspiration.
Just as fashion designers will drape fabric on dress forms to get an idea of
how they are going to design the garment, shoe designers can drape on the last. you can certainly drape with leather and fabric on the last but why limit yourself there? You can use almost anything to drape which can give you some great ideas for some really creative designs.
In the cover photo and above I used seashells for inspiration for a hell design as well as an ornament for the vamp of the shoe. These shells were taken right off the beach. This could spark so many designs.
The heel is made from fiber optic conduits. As a repairman when running fiber optics these were used to separate the fibers so they wouldn't tangle.
They seemed like puzzle pieces and I had the idea to fashion a
A friend asked us to help him move a printing press. There were some great racks of typeset used to print everything from newspapers to invitations.
I thought they were beautiful and I used them to fashion a wedge heel.
I left the letters jumbled. They had been used to announce weddings and deaths, war and armistices, all of history's events. I felt they carried so much meaning on their own that they needed to stay the way they were rather than spell anything.
Sometimes an evening out with friends having Mai Tai's is all the inspiration you need.
A favorite of mine. I had some old silk flowers in a window box out by the shed. It was too far from any water supply so I used silk flowers. After a couple summers the silk had faded and become worn. I took them apart and made uppers and used some branches to create heels.
I hope this post gave you some inspiration. Sometimes breaking down some of our preconceived notions of design and where inspiration can come from opens up many new directions and ideas. It's taught me to find beauty in things that sometimes isn't obviously beautiful.