Size six, high heels, pink .. and made of paper

Rosa Fior's studio is like an illustration from The Elves and the Shoemaker. Delicate shoes, all singles, no pairs, hang neatly in rows above her cluttered workbench. From a distance the dangling footwear seems ordinary; mundane even. But look again: these brightly coloured objects are made from paper.

Why make paper shoes? 'Well, how many people do you know who own a pair? They're hard to come by,' Fior jests. Actually, she found herself in Lisbon in her father's graphics studio last year 'with a lot of ideas but no shoemaking equipment. Paper was the answer. After all, you don't need to stitch or nail it. It's a question of cut, stick and paste.'

The shoes function a bit like a diary, employing ideas and scraps picked up on her travels. 'The materials I use are from my collection of printed ephemera.' One is made from shiny multi-coloured sweet wrappers and others betray a well-developed taste for Portuguese cakes.

One high-heeled number shows Rita Hayworth posing seductively. Another features 1993's Arsenal team around the heel, a cheeky line-up of football programme cut-outs.

But the real showstopper is a boot made from lottery tickets. 'I befriended an old man in the ticket shop who saved me all his lucky numbers - if you look closely all the numbers on the boot are the same.'

After completing a design course at Cordwainer's in Hackney five years ago, Fior made a pilgrimage around Europe's footwear colleges. In 1993 she went to Portugal to work in leather. No dice. 'But Lisbon is littered with paper. I'm like a hawk with cardboard boxes. As for loo roll tubes - indispensable for heels.

Her efforts haven't gone unrewarded. She was asked to create a shoe exhibition for Moda Lisboa, Portugal's answer to London Fashion Week. Next year she returns to lecture on shoe design alongside Jean-Paul Gaultier.

Back in London, Fior took her treasures to Janet Fitch. Fitch instantly decided on a window display. 'These shoes are dainty and witty. They combine Dadaist elements and surrealism with a contemporary twist because they're made of paper and fragile.'

Fior wants to be more than fragile. Although her creations are not functional, her latest samples are wearable. 'I am keen to develop paper uppers that could be manufactured, but at the moment they are more one-off objects d'art. Each shoe is collaged together which is time consuming. I'm hoping to achieve mass production. . .with a photocopier.'

Patient but bemused workers at Crocket and Jones, traditional shoemakers in Northampton, have helped Fior to develop a loafer with an upper from postage stamps. She laughs: 'It's an open invitation to get your feet stamped on.'

Rosa Fior shoes at Janet Fitch, Neal St WC2 from this Saturday. Rosa Fior (071-225-9792)

(Photograph omitted)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
techPatent specifies 'anthropomorphic device' to control media devices
Voices
The PM proposed 'commonsense restrictions' on migrant benefits
voicesAndrew Grice: Prime Minister can talk 'one nation Conservatism' but putting it into action will be tougher
News
Ireland will not find out whether gay couples have won the right to marry until Saturday afternoon
news
News
Kim Jong-un's brother Kim Jong-chol
news
News
Manchester city skyline as seen from Oldham above the streets of terraced houses in North West England on 7 April 2015.
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?