Friday, January 16, 2009

Sassy Feet!

Long ago, when I was in lots of weddings, I had a favorite pair of very comfortable heels. I was going to college on a limited budget so I bought paint and repainted those shoes to match each dress. It got to where there were so many layers, the paint was starting to flake off and of course had a "pasty" look. I haven't wanted to paint shoes since. But these economic times are going to take us back there--and Margot Silk Forrest is proving that it can be royal fun.

I don't remember when I first got to know Margot Silk Forrest. I think we connected when she asked about my newsletter, Art You Wear. Then she came to the Peninsula Wearable Arts Group meeting wearing a sweatshirt with interesting embellishments. When we finally sat down over food, we couldn't stop talking. It was one of those soul-mates moments. Now I moved and got busy, knew she was doing something with shoes, and then was giving classes on how to embellish shoes. From a distance it was like ok, but not my cup of tea. Well, she sent me her book last week and I'm a convert!

Margot is a writer from way back so I was expecting lots of text. What she's done instead is filled the book with photos--inspiring photos! I'm thinking I might go buy high heeled shoes at the thrift shop just to have some shoes to play with. I don't have to wear them, I can just look at them. This looks like so much fun. (I already have an idea for my dull black rain boots with the thick soles.) And there's double duty here. The book is about shoes, but I can see translating some of these ideas into embellishing jackets and vests too. Decorate your shoes and then carry the theme into a garment.

Margot is focused on shoes, so she tells you what products to try, what works on leather, how to find the embellishments (who knew you find rabbit fur dyed to look like chinchilla in the fly fishing department?), and what she did to make the shoes on these pages. It won't take long for you to recognize the "wearable art" aspect: piping, fabric scraps, dichroic glass, frogs, metal charms, embroidered appliques, and even shoe laces embroidered on the sewing machine. I'm sold! You're not going to find this book at a big store just yet. Go to to order your copy and other supplies she offers. There are also photos at Margot is scheduled to teach a shoe embellishment class at The Sewing Workshop in San Francisco in June 2009. That should be a treat!

1 comment:

janet lasher said...

Rosalie - SHOES... how totally wonderful.

Thank you for re-energizing wearable art with such a great and broad ranging blog.