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)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
News
Detail of the dress made entirely of loom bands
news
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

    CRM Data Analyst – Part time – Permanent – Surrey – Circa £28,000 pro rata

    £15000 - £16800 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...

    Mechanical Design Engineer

    competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A key client in the East Midlands are re...

    Year 5/6 Teacher

    £21000 - £31000 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The JobWe are looking ...

    Teacher

    £90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The Job...Due to continued ...

    Day In a Page

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
    Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

    A writer spends a night on the streets

    Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
    Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
    Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

    Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

    Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
    Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

    Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

    This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
    Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

    Why did we stop eating whelks?

    Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
    10 best women's sunglasses

    In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

    From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
    Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    The German people demand an end to the fighting
    New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

    New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

    For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
    Can scientists save the world's sea life from

    Can scientists save our sea life?

    By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
    Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

    Richard III review

    Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice