The heels are alive: Gittins' greatest hits

Wednesday 11 December 2013 05:04

The Rix

"These are made from the silk I had made exclusively at the mill in Sudbury and are trimmed with velvet. The design is all about the geometry that you find in the work of the Weiner Werkstätte movement, which is why they are the central piece in this collection. The heel is a respectable four-and-a-half inches – I do like killer heels, but part of the challenge as a shoe designer is finding something that looks great but is also at least reasonably practical."

The Josef

"Running through all of my designs is a contrast, whether in terms of colour, shape or texture. Here it is between the sleekness of the foot and stiletto heel and the volume of the fur around the ankle. I chose goat suede for the upper, as it has a lovely powdery finish that is much more subtle than cow suede, and the fur is Toscana lamb; I'm actually a vegetarian, so I did wrestle with the idea of using fur, but it felt right for this style. I am very careful about where it is sourced from, though."

The Peche

"I wanted to continue working with the geometric lines that I had been using, but recreate them in a slightly different way by translating them into a much harder silhouette, with lots of jagged edges. I used black and grey goat suede for this style for a bold contrast that would emphasise the lines even further."

The Valentin

"These are probably the most obviously feminine shoes in the collection. I found lots of lovely shredded organza in really soft, vintage-looking colours in a haberdashery and knew I wanted to use it on a shoe in some way. Here it just softens up the lines of the black straps and injects a bit of old-fashioned frou-frou."

The Mathilde

"These are a very classic design – a simple stiletto with a squared-off toe in boucle mohair wool and nappa leather. I think having at least one very classic piece in the collection is important. I used to do a lot of trend research but now I am happier to go my own way and if it coincides with what's in fashion, that's great – but it's not essential."

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