Fashion Shoemaking – Advanced Skills for High Fashion

13 Day Workshop
A comprehensive exploration of creativity, style, and the techniques that go into a glamorous, sexy, high heel, fashion shoe or sandal, this course is designed for those serious about fashion shoemaking.  All hand techniques are related to factory processes to enhance your understanding of how they relate to a factory made shoe.

In this course, the creative process is ramped up another notch. The quest is to have each participant think like a shoemaker/designer, thus expanding and focusing his or her creative potential.

Every logistic of the shoemaking process that becomes second nature creates more space for design creation and variety. The seasonal nature of fashion and our human desire for a “fresh look”, both demand constant innovation. The great shoe designers are masters of the new look, not necessarily creative geniuses. The craftsmen who execute their ideas and create “the impossible” are the true magic of the fashion shoe universe. The individual who can design and also make shoes has a distinct advantage. That’s what the course is all about.

Measuring, fitting up (altering) the last, foots dynamics, advanced pattern making, advanced soling techniques, precise sewing, unique finishing techniques, the smoke and mirrors of reinforcing, embellishment techniques, inside platform, outside platform, strappy fashion sandals, materials exploration, creative designing — all are covered on the way to creating a professional looking, high fashion designer pump or sandal.

This fashion shoe making experience is thirteen days of concentrated collaboration, crafting, exploring, innovating, creating, designing, laughing and crying, and above all, making your fashion shoe dreams come true.  Though this course appears to have specific hours, evening discussion and creative brainstorming are welcomed at all times. Guys welcome.

Dates: See Registration page for current workshop dates »

Cost: $2,950
All materials provided. Students are encouraged to bring materials and embellishments unique to their design at their own expense. Though we supply many materials and embellishments, fashion shoe making is sooooo big, we can’t cover it all. We have lots of rhinestones, beads, lace, feathers, exotic leathers and “bling”.

Class Duration: 13 days

Prerequisites: Level II High Heel Fashion Shoemaking Course, sewing experience, or instructor’s approval.

Class Schedule

(one hour for lunch)
DAY 1: 8:30am-5:30pm, The Basics

  • Measuring and fitting dynamics
  • Last Selection and last taping
  • Beginning discussion about design dynamics, style, and group and individual goals

DAY 2: 8:30am – 5:30pm, Advanced Basics

  • This course begins much like Level I. However, at each step, more information, more techniques, and more skills are explored and taught. Strong emphasis is placed on your measuring skills and last selection.

Days 3-4: 8:30am – 5:30pm, Creativity, Learning Style, Skills Assessment

  • Days 3 and 4 are spent on the creative process. We will be looking at the creations of some of the greats of shoe design, exploring creativity as it relates to footwear, your style of creativity, your learning style, and assessing and building your hand skills.
  • You will select your style: pump, Mary Jane, T-strap, tango, open sides, inside platform, outside platform, sling back, dress sandal, lace or slip-on spectator etc.
  • You will spend one-on-one time with the instructor developing a plan for completing your chosen style

Days 5-6: 8:30am – 5:30pm, Finalizing your selected style in pattern form

  • These two days will be devoted to transforming your design onto your mean form pattern and assessing the results. Simultaneously, you will be drawing on one of your remaining taped lasts, coloring if necessary, and judging the impact of your design.
  • Group discussion and suggestions. Personal time with instructor

Days 7-8: 8:30am – 5:30pm, Finalizing pattern and cutting

  • Sectionalizing your pattern, adding seam and lasting allowances
  • Cutting leather/fabric pattern partsOr
  • Creating straps and attaching them to liner for strappy fashion sandals

Days 9-10: 8:30am – 5:30pm, Assembly

  • At this point there is considerable divergence as you and the other students pursue individual style choices. Instruction time becomes almost all one-on-one. Regular breaks are taken so that the group can share ideas and discoveries, techniques, and build the creativity and energy in the room. This is what this course is all about.

Day 11: 8:30am – 5:30pm, Lasting and Stiffeners

  • We strive to last on this day so that you and your fellow students can finish the final stages as a group. *It is very important to note the creativity and innovation is still high at this point and the learning is far from over.

Day 12: 8:30am – 5:30pm, Soling and Heeling

  • You cover and embellish your heels
  • You create your sole with a hi-style finish unique to you. Don’t you just love the sole finish on designer shoes like Labotine, Blahnik, and Cho. You’ll learn how to do it!
  • Attach the sole and heel

Day 13: 8:30am – 5:30pm, Finish and Detail

  • Creation of a hi-fashion sock liner with color and impact
  • Clean up and detail, add any remaining decorations
  • Group discussion and positive critique
  • Hand out of class notes and resource list
  • Group and individual photos, shoe photos
  • Big sigh!

Go to Shoemaking Workshop Registration page

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