Monday, April 24, 2006

Programme 13: Its the Last 'Shoe' in the Series....
Broadcasting Tuesday April 25th 2006
Well, that went quickly! This week I take a look back at the series and also talk about my own shoes, some of which you can see below. The shoe on my foot is one of the LK Bennett silver raw silk kitten-heeled mules I got married in...

Below you can see my trusty old New Rock boots, which lace through a hole in the middle of the metal heel and have survived 2 (yes-1997 and 1998) wet and very muddy Glastonbury festivals! Also below are my wosh trainers with the gold wedge heel, the black and white brothel creepers I got from Shelleys for a fiver but are very stiff and therefore very uncomfortable. In the foreground are my Red or Dead suede shoes that I got in 1990 and wore when I saw the Cocteau Twins play at the Town and Country Club in Kentish Town.

There will be a new series of The Shoe Show in Autumn 2006. The first series will be repeated during the summer (times and days to be confirmed).
I will be spending the next few months researching, writing, interviewing and gathering information for the next series. I will continue to update the blog regularly so please pop back and visit for news, views, stories and general footwear information and pictures!
There will be an hour long Shoe Show special on Terry de Havilland on May 10th at 7pm (more details to follow).
to everyone who helped to make The Shoe Show possible and to everyone who featured on the shows. Thanks especially to all at Resonance FM, to Kutsal Bilgin for engineering the first half of the series, special thanks to Poolord for his time, help and expertise, and to James DC for suggesting I make it in the first place (and for his constant vigilance regarding "Levels!")

Saturday, April 22, 2006

What a Croc!

I have now received my crocs from the lovely people at Crocshop and they are VERY comfortable, colourful and cool (and YELLOW!). Please see the links scetion for the Crocshop website. I mentioned Crocs on the show a couple of weeks ago- they are starting to appear in shops in the UK now but have been very popular in the US for the last few years. They are made from Croslite, a closed cell resin, which makes them very light and also they can be sterilised so are popular with people working in medicine. The sole is orthotically designed (if you look at the picture above on the right you can see the 'footprint' inside. I would recommend them to anyone who needs something light and supportive to wear on their feet. The first pair I got felt too big, but were actually the right size if you go by the instructions. They are supposed to have a very loose fit, with the sides of your foot and your toes not actually making contact with the shoe- but this felt very odd and when I spoke to Karen at the Crocshop she said lots of people have found the same thing, and actually feel better wearing a smaller size- maybe we just need that bit of restriction over here -we're not so happy to 'hang loose'...?!
Anyway, the smaller size is just right and I am looking forward to getting lost of wear out of them over the Summer.

Check this out! Thanks to Kerra Mitchell (who has been doing work experience at Resonance FM) for this link:
Shoes made from a computer keyboard!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Programme 12: Walk a Mile in My Shoes ~ Bedwyr Williams at Beck Futures, ICA
Broadcasting Tuesday 18th April 2006

My Nieces Emily and Charlotte agreed to act as 'guineapigs' and went along to the ICA Beck Futures show with me to have a look at Bedwyr Williams's installation Walk a Mile in My Shoes. The installation was born from the difficulties Bedwyr has experienced in being able to find shoes to fit his size 13 feet. We spent some time trying on some of the various shoes on display- everything from golfing shoes to Elvis boots!

This is what Bedwyr says: “This work is about an aspect of my life that has ruined walking trips, beach holidays, weddings and football games. I have size 13 feet. Since I was 18 I have struggled with shoe availability. The choice in my size is limited. You see a shoe that you like and when the mini-foot shop assistant brings it out in a size 13 it is a strange stretched version of the smaller, original shoe. Each of the 40+ shoes in the piece have been tracked down, none were bought off the shelf. Walk a mile in my shoes is an invitation to share a little of my ongoing shoe struggle. Try them on you’ll grow into them.”

Emily trying on some Nike trainers because she said they were a bit 'me'; Charlotte contemplates the installation (or gets comfy on the 'shoe shop' seating...!); Check out those brogues!

Each pair of shoes has a parcel label tied to it which has a story or some information or thoughts relating to them.

Charlotte tries on the Heartfelt bootees, specially made for Bedwyr by someone called Liz, with a yin yang symbol on each one and a lace with an owlfeather around the top of each bootee. Charlotte particularly liked these and apparently Bedwyr is missing them whilst they are in the show as they are good to wear whilst watching the telly.

We had a look at the rest of the Beck Futures show and there was plenty to see! Works by others on the shortlist include Simon Popper’s reinterpretation of James Joyce’s Ulysses with the words printed alphabetically (one of Emily's favourites); Blood ‘n’ Feathers’ luscious paintings which seek to investigate Rock and Roll mythology (we all liked the paintings- great use of colour and all found the use of text, or hints of it, very interesting); Stefan Brüggemann’s text piece of over 700 possible exhibition titles, an offer to the curators of all three Beck’s Futures exhibitions to choose a ready-made title; Jamie Shovlin’s assemblage of memorabilia of the rock band Lustfaust, part of the experimental music scene of 1970s Berlin; Flávia Müller Medeiros’ video work, Inaugurate (2005), which marries found footage from the film Easy Rider to a recording of George Bush’s second inauguration speech read by an actor in the style of an American car salesman.
Charlotte and Emily were very surprised that Bedwyr's shoes were 'just there' and that you could touch them and try them on- unlike most artworks on display which you are most cetainly NOT encouraged to touch! This added to the appeal of Bedwyr's installation- it was fun and easy to engage with- and therefore actively thought provoking.
Very enjoyable and, of course, perfect Shoe Show material!
The 13 short listed artists are: Blood ‘n’ Feathers (Jo Robertson and Lucy Stein), Pablo Bronstein, Stefan Brüggemann, Richard Hughes, Flávia Müller Medeiros, Seb Patane, Olivia Plender, Simon Popper, Jamie Shovlin, Daniel Sinsel, Matt Stokes, Sue Tompkins and Bedwyr Williams.

Beck’s Futures gives a £20,000 overall award to one artist from the shortlist. This year a public vote will enable visitors to participate in the selection of the award-winner. You will be able to register your views — alongside those of judges Jake and Dinos Chapman, Martin Creed, Cornelia Parker, Yinka Shonibare MBE and Gillian Wearing —at any of the participating venues (ICA, Centre for Contemporary Art in Glasgow, Arnolfini in Bristol) or online at
Good Luck Bedwyr!
The winner is announced on 2nd May and the show goes on at the ICA until the 14th May. Please see the Links section for more information>>>

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Ooh La La!

Saturday night at Volupte in Norwich Street, Chancery Lane, London. Dinner and dancing with a French themed cabaret and burlesque from Brighton's Vavavavoom. Mel is holding on to my foot, which is encased in a gorgeous Vivienne Westwood shoe! There are two pairs of Vivienne Westwood shoes on display there and we couldn't resist giving them a try...
Programme 11: They're shoes but not as we know them ~ Creating new typologies with Marloes Ten Bhomer.
It really was very exciting to talk to Marloes about her footwear designs, methods of working, her inspirations and influences.
It has left me wanting to know more! I think it will be very interesting to see what the reaction will be once this shoe (pictured above, and discussed in the programme, which is going to be manufactured) goes into the shops.
Having looked at the designs and concept behind United Nude, the design company Marloes is collaborating with, I think they will do justice to what I feel is an important step (!) forward for footwear design.
As she says herself, "By introducing forms, a wide variety of materials, ways of construction to my work, that are unfamilar to shoe-design, the traditional meaning of shoes and the preconceptions we have about them are broken down."
Marloes has designed and made shoes using everything from carbon fibre, to a leather mache (a bit like papier mache) shoe called Bluemacheshoe, which are both pictured here.
I can't wait to see Marloes does next!
Please see the links section for Marloes's web site and United Nude's web site.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Crikey, my legs feel like they've walked for miles! I do a fair bit of walking each day but I think after waering the MBTs for 3 days, the effects are now making themselves known! My legs aren't hurting but have that 'well-used' feel you get after going for a long, long walk (or, if you go to Glastonbury Festival and get used to walking around 10ish miles of site for 3-5 days, you will understand what I mean). So, something is happening anyway! I am having a break from them over the next couple of days. I am dressing up as a beatnik for a night called Vavavoom in London, and MBTs won't do the job. So ballet pumps for me, for today and tomorrow. Then back to the MBTs on Monday!

I am off to make the next show today-more on this when it is done- but wait til you see the photos I've got! The shoes will confuse and excite, I am sure...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Ok- I've been bad and spent A LOT of money (although we're not talking Miu Miu or Manolo, it is still a lot of 'monola' for me!) on a pair of MBTs. I think they look pretty groovy and I have worn them all day today. They definitely make you stand differntly, and it has been more of an effort to walk (it's supposed to feel like you're walking across sand- and it is like that to an extent). I have been advised not to wear them every day as apparently I need to break myself in gently- a bit like you do when you go to the gym...?? I wouldn't know as I don't go to the gym, so I am going to see if my legs ache when I get up and if they don't I'm going to be wild and crazy and wear them again tomorrow- I am so 'achingly' rock n roll maaan.

More on MBTs to come. I am intending to wear them 3-4 days a week at least and will be reporting on whether I feel I have benefitted from stomping about in them.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Programme 10: Stories of the Shoes with Amelia Pearson
Broadcasting Tuesday 4th April 2006
Amelia Pearson is a writer and shoe fanatic, with a wealth of stories to tell about her shoes, where she got them, wore them and the memories associated with them. I talked to Amelia about how and where her fascination with footwear started and we talked about some of her fabulous shoes and boots.
I nipped in to see Amelia this afternoon and she kindly modelled some of the shoes and boots for me to take photos. It was great fun and one of my favourite
shows so far!

Thanks to Amelia - please see the Links section on this page for Amelia's blog, under the name Ramonaramone.