The magic starts with a sketch. A Brian Atwood collection starts with the shoe designer extraordinaire sitting down at his sketching desk in his Milan design studio. The desk is crowded with coloured pens and pencils, fabric samples and – naturally – high heels. Framed pictures line the walls. There are many bookcases too, no doubt full of inspirational-design-producing reading material. “I’m always thinking of new things,” Atwood said on a video insight recently posted to YouTube (see below), “so I just love being surrounded by beautiful things.”
Fast forward to the point where the sketch above has manifested itself into Atwood’s Amaris platform Mary Jane, one of several highlights from the recently released Brian Atwood resort 2014 collection. The physical creation of these beauties has involved the shoes being assembled in Italy with the feature stud and chain detail applied by hand. After some sneak-peak pictures on social and mainstream media the heels are released into the wild, and Atwood returns to his sketching desk and starts over again.
The Amaris double platform open toed sandal has a 6 inch heel with a 2 inch platform. It is available now at the Brian Atwood website for $2,295. More pictures and a video of Brian Atwood at work follow below.
Shoe designer and artist Mark Schwartz has been producing unique and vibrant paintings of high heels for over 30 years. Mentored by stiletto designer Roger Vivier and artist Andy Warhol, Mark has created his own niche by using his trained eye and paintbrush to capture the stunning essence of some very sexy shoes. We sat down for a moment with the man who turns his fascination with high heeled shoes into quality, contemporaneous artwork year after year.
HHD: One thing we find, working just within the confines of the topic of high heels, is that the smaller the niche, the more there is to say. The more we write about high heels, the more there is to write. After over 30 years painting and drawing, it seems you don’t have any difficulty finding inspiration and fresh perspectives on high heeled shoes?
MS: I am always amazed at the way I can find different ways to approach my work. Shoes have a personality all of their own and I vision them in so many different ways. As long as the high heel continues to be worn I will find ways to present it!
HHD: The right pair of high heels can light up a room. They can be a focal point for men and women alike, and make the wearer feel like a princess. Can you explain the allure of high heels?
MS: The allure of a high heel has two parts: one, the actual shoe itself – the look, the cut, the heel and the color – and two, the actual woman wearing them – her walk, body language and stance.
HHD: What are your future plans?
MS: My future plans include limited edition prints which are now available on my site and to keep on finding new ways to present the shoe as art. I am very fortunate to have both private and corporate collectors of my work around the world. It is amazing how the shoe presents itself as art in a home setting, quite a focal point!
Our thanks to Mark Schwartz for his time and images. You can purchase original Mark Schwatz high heeled artworks on Mark’s website.