As you can probably tell, aside from my own personal style, my taste in fashion tends to err towards the avante garde. Victor & Rolf, Iris Van Herpen and Chromat are just a few of my favourites - I prefer for fashion to be scintillating and unexpected as opposed to something I can very clearly see lining my entire wardrobe (although I wouldn't mind that either). Recently, I discovered yet another amazing addition to my roster of faves: the fantastically eccentric shoes of Austrian-born footwear designer, Carolin Holzhuber.
As with most things these days, I came across her work purely by chance through my Instagram feed and I was instantly mesmerized. I've seen (and even tried on) some pretty crazy shoes in my day but these (part of her Autumn/Winter '14, showcased for #tbt) were next level.
As per her website, this collection, appropriately titled, 'Conjoined Illusion' was all about mirroring, reflection, visual illusion and of course, conjoined twins. I love that she didn't just lightly touch upon, tease or play with the idea of duality. Homegirl straight up replicated the shoe itself and clapped it on to the bottom of said shoe, as if you could just flip it around and wear it either which way. I love that sort of unapologetic approach to design, it tends to produce genius results. For the 5,0001 of you that are foaming at the mouth to ask, "How do you walk in those?" (omg y'all are so annoying, I'm sorry), it seems pretty clear to me that, for the most part, the concept seems similar to illusion heels (aka 'heel-less shoes'). They basically work and feel like a very narrow (and very high) platform wedge heel. For those of you asking, "WHAT ARE THOOOSSEEE?!" The answer is ART.
For her Spring/Summer '16 collection, Carolin says it best, "I didn't see symbiosis only as a biological phenomenon but also as a metaphor that everyone needs another one to support each other, to be able to live. My aim was to show this in my new designs. I tried to create a merged harmony of shapes and sizes." Sure enough, when I look at each shoe, their components seem like a series of parts that would seem disparate without one another but fit together beautifully, like a sophisticated game of tetris. I also love her editorial imagery, the styling and photography works wonderfully with the product.
Overall, I'm completely enamoured with Carolin's use of smooth, sleek lines and luxury materials and how she skillfully combines them in a contemporary way. She produces each piece herself in a workshop in East London. Be sure to check her out on Facebook and Instagram.