In honour of Elsa Schiaparelli, one of the most innovative couturière of the 20th Century, Caroline has crafted by hand at every stage, a pair of court shoes purely from the finest natural leathers for London Craft Week 2018.
Alongside traditional shoemaking skills Orb demonstrates a number of leather working techniques including mellowing and moulding, inlay work and decorative stitching.
The vegetable tanned leather for the uppers hails, like Elsa, from Italy and the English oak bark tanned leather for the soles and stiffening is from Devon. The shape was created by the use of an authentic wooden last from the period. An internal platform has been used to give a contemporary edge. The uppers, in dark blue have inlayed discs or ‘planets’ in red and yellow. In the majority of fashion shoes the method of construction is cemented (i.e. glued) to form the union between the upper and the soles however, to be true to the craft nature of this project, and Caroline’s aesthetic, Orb has a hand welted construction, and hand stitched soles.
The high heels are carved from beech wood and covered in the leather, again inlayed with discs of leather. The dramatic hat brim has also been made from vegetable calf leather mellowed and moulded over a hat block and inlayed with more ‘planets’.