omething I've enjoyed immensely as a blogger has been the opportunity to cover a topic in one post, then after reading more online and getting feedback from my fellow footwear fanatics, revisiting that topic in a later post. This past month, it's been kind of hard to do that since the resurrection of this blog followed quite a period of hiatus. But I'm pleased to say that now after a four or five weeks of renewed activity here, I've been back at it long enough that I can finally refer to things that have been posted within recent memory. And that's what I'm planning to cover in a good bit of this weekend's post.
I'm not an avid reader of other blogs. But I am an avid visitor. On more than one occasion I've stumbled across a site that's so unexpected and so unique that I've had to send a link to my partner in fashion lust, Melissa, with the subject line: Look at this!
Take the fantastic makeup creations of 19 year old Tanja from Helsinki. She wows us both whenever we think to stop by for a look at what she's been up to recently at Rose Shock.
Then there are the fearless jolts of color that inform the style sensibility of Krista, a blogger from the Pacific Northwest who posts on Peetee's Palace (so named for a beloved pet dog). Has she got a thing for pink!
It's a rich parade that passes by us daily, especially now in this digital age, and I am in awe of the amazing diversity of ways the creative spirit is being expressed. And in the midst of my Google archeology, I often feel a bit sad to unearth a blog that hasn't been touched in months, even years. Has the passion cooled? Something better now on the TV? Or perhaps the news is more sobering. One blogger I visited on and off in 2012 and 2013 landed on my radar because in between photos of her toddler and the odd fashion find she'd raved in her posts about a pair of Dansko clog boots I had my eye on. I'd drifted away from her site when I gave myself a vacation, but when her photo cropped up in a Google image search a couple weeks ago, there was something about her severely short haircut that gave me pause. Apparently during the past year she'd been diagnosed with breast cancer, gone through a mastectomy, followed that with chemo, and was just beginning to come out the other side. It's a rich parade indeed. And if the bloggers are honest and brave, it's a slice of real life.
Stop me if I say this too often, but I do so appreciate the community that we created together here over the past few years. It's good to be back and sharing shoes with all of you once again. And maybe a few other topics, too.
A couple of weeks back I featured some of the new wooden goodness available now on the website of Australian design house funkis. In the course of browsing through their webpages, I noticed some wood-soled shoes that were noticeably absent from their footwear listings.
Happily, Sven, a helpful reader from Finland, quickly steered me toward the designer responsible for these innovative styles and more. Wrote he:
The blue shoes are probably from Minna Parikka´s collection. She is designing shoes in wooden soles. So is Terhi Pölkki. Both are from Finland.
And for good measure he also added:
And our clogfactory is talla.fi.
So allow me to introduce you to…(drum roll)…
The website tells the tale of this young designer quite well. If I may, here are a couple of quotes I've pulled from what might be called the About page elsewhere, but which on her site is named "The Story."
[Her] brand began when Minna decided at the tender age of 15 that designing shoes was her life’s true calling.
“I felt like I’d been struck by a lightning when I first realized I could actually make a career out of making shoes.”
I'm also quite fond of the quotations that are featured at the top of that same page:
"My designs are almost like love letters from one high heel shoe lover to another."
"Allow yourself to be playful and let a pair lead you to new adventures."
I'm definitely ready for the journey!
Some notable styles that I wanted to share are below.
And may I also introduce...
Her own About page states:
Terhi Pölkki's brand launched in fall 2011. Helsinki-based designer Terhi Pölkki’s style sums up the brand’s coveted aesthetic of minimalist luxury with a tough edge.
Of course, what caught my eye was the fact that she was happy to embrace clog style construction and give it a twist.
Details and more eye candy here.
As for the Finnish clog maker that reader Sven made reference to—Oh, dear. Sven, you're going to have to help me out. Your site is entirely in Finnish!
Still, it's worth paying a visit for fans of traditional clog designs.
This Week's Shoes to Marvel At
Well, while some wood appears to be used in the construction of these inventive designs, they're apparently intended to be more of an engineering wonder. According to an article Gizmodo.com where I spotted these shoes, London College of Fashion graduate Silvia Fado Moreno looked at the mechanics of our bodies and set out to create footwear that functions to support it.
In order to establish this baseline of wearability—or wear-all-night-ability, maybe—Moreno studied impact absorption, plus shoe weight, traction, and durability, then hacked the familiar heeled form apart, adding in elements like springs and rubber balls to cushion every step. She also incorporated a combo of traditional techniques like leather-, and metal-, and wood-work, as well as the latest in laser cutting, 3D milling and printing.
Take a look at designer Silvia Fado Moreno's website. Her explanation of her work is enlightening in a "why didn't some fashion house think of this before now" kind of way!
The principal functions of footwear are often sacrificed in Fashion. This project brings sports footwear fundamentals to high-end fashion as sports footwear are based on function and wearability, both very important elements for design features that must interact with the body and be usable by the wearer.
One change of plans: the presentation on alder wood in clog making that I received from Scandic Footwear will run next weekend. As I said before, I want to do it justice and not hurriedly post it online. I think you'll enjoy reading what I gleaned from the PowerPoint presentation that Scandic's Morten Andreasen sent me.
And one final note: I would be a very poor blogger indeed if I didn't take a moment during the month of June to say, "Happy birthday, Melissa!" It was her comments on this blog that caught my eye and captured my heart. And apparently she felt the same pretty much from my first e-mail to her. Maybe even earlier. It's been an amazing journey to walk the planet with someone who sees me and gets me and for whom I can do the same. Even more so when we're both making outrageous noises with our wood-soled footwear while we walk. Yes, I'm taking her out for dinner. Yes, I gave her chocolate. And most certainly, yes, I bought her a pair of clogs.