Sketchbook page 90

I seem to be getting into the habit of having cross-Atlantic crossed-wires with meeting up with people.  Last time it was with Angie Johnson of I Heart Montreal where she came to London and I happened to be in New York.  Then whilst I was in Montreal, it turned out that Montreal-based, Belarusian shoe designer Anastasia Radevich was in London/Italy sorting out production.  Doh!  To think I could have sniffed out her studio to see how in the world she came up with her new collection 'Kinetik' which features some fibre optic lights embedded into the body of a shoe.  Yes, lights in shoes… see if that was a subject line in an email that began with 'Dear Blogger' (really, I would prefer Sir/Madam…), I'd be groaning thinking "Oh dear… someone thought it was MIGHTY clever to stick a light in a shoe and feel really smarmy and smart about that…"

I've spoken about the fusion of fashion with technology that more often than not, the final product results, not in Hussein Chalayan-esque levels of beauty but in clunky pieces that have a giant battery pack attached to it (t-shirts that have LCD screens, jackets with iPod rechargers etc… ) and are basically garments packed with computer chips for the sake of showing that fashion and technology can produce something 'nifty' or else they are one-off pieces that aren't meant to be worn on a day to day basis (dresses worn by Katy Perry/Rihanna for shock factor…).  It is probably a matter of years before the fusion becomes a coherent one but for now I prefer the investigation of technology in fashion to be a subtle or slightly more evolved one than just sticking lights in a garment.

However, for Anastasia Radevich's ankle boots and shoes that feature fibre optics, I take it back.  Francesca Castagnacci has also been highlighted recently with some fibre optic shoe action but I'm glad that the results are VASTLY different.  Whilst Castagnacci's shoe shouts "Hey I'm made out of fibre optic and I've got it coming out at EVERY ANGLE possible!", Radevich's version is subtle to the point where you could turn off the flat bar switch (embedded inside the top of the boot…) and still have a beautiful shoe mainly because of the heel and platform which are constructed to look like a doodle in the air or some mish mashed curves of a Gaudi building.  The fibre optics are also embedded into a mesh panel that is surrounded by a suede upper which again, adds more design to the shoe as a stand-alone shoe as opposed to just a shoe that lights up.  In any case, when that switch is on, the fibre optic splay of light is like a cell formation, something more natural, as opposed to the disco/rave antics that light-up or glow-in-the-dark shoes often display (probably because the light doesn't flash on and off…)…





The natural world definitely infiltrates Radevich's work a lot as per her last 'Biofuture' collection though she often delves into the more mysterious side of nature which is why you end up with shapes, textures and THESE fantastically conceived line-art heels that are in the rest of the Kinetik collection.  There's something genuinely exciting about seeing her develop a brand of shoes that goes beyond just looking 'pretty' and translating her highly ornate style into something that can go into production.  When you have the likes of Chau Har Lee being stocked by Selfridges in their new shoe floor, there perhaps is a certain shoe niche where simultaenously directional and wearable shoe design will be accepted and available to the general public as opposed to just being admired from afar with comments like "Wow, that's ART!".  No, these are shoes.  Shoes that can go on people's feet.  They just happen to have a lot going on and that's reassuring to know despite our collective return to supposed sensible fashion sensibilities.






Comments (37)

  1. Blimey they are like high heeled ice skating boots.

  2. PinkBow says:

    oh wow, these are such show-stoppers!

  3. vasilieva says:

    My goodness, these shoes are unbelievable. I’m totally in love with anastasia’s work, never seen anything like that really. The detail is amazing and i love how fragile and almost lace like the heels and the soles are. Fabulous designs. Thanks for sharing

  4. I love everything about this lady! Anastasia is great!! X

  5. Peach says:

    This is art

  6. Daisy Kate says:

    Oh my goodness Susie! Thank you so much for posting this, I’ve never come across Anastasia and I’m so glad you’ve introduced me. These shoes are absolutely amazing, I’ve never ever seen anything like it. As Peach says, this is art.
    Fashion Stereotype

  7. Trevo says:

    wow! its really good to see something different!
    they really are amazing!

  8. omg those heels..!

  9. abraham says:

    btw, can you walk on them? silly question, but it just seems impossible for the heels to take up on body weight. nonetheless revolutionary.

  10. Ginta says:

    Pure art! Shoes look so fragile! I’d be afraid to wear them due to the fear of breaking them!

  11. Sophia says:

    These are crazy!!!…And of course beautiful. I wonder how comfy they are lol. <3

  12. melissa says:

    OMG! These shoes are totally insane! Love them all!

  13. Trevo says:

    please please can someone answer! are these shoes functional? by this i mean can someone actually wear them and walk and the heels not break, i dont know anything about structures as such but they just look like they are ready to break!
    it would be really impressive if they actually are strong enough and dont break easily!

  14. Eleanor Bromsley says:

    I don’t think you understand much about fashion and technology – in fact you talk about huge battery packs and jackets with ipod chargers, but don’t seem to know that these controls can be integrated into the fabrics and that there are highly technological textiles on the market. I would advise you to start doing your little research before writing rather than just opening the messages and press releases you get from designers.

  15. pink says:

    wowww this is really fantastic!!!
    check out my blog at
    two new posts were up ytd!!!
    or follow me on twitter at TTOSindulgence

  16. susie_bubble says:

    Eleanor: You’re right, I probably don’t know a whole lot but what i’m saying is that the available products – as in products on the market that supposedly integrate fashion and technology just seem to be products that are there not for aesthetic values but for the sole purpose of ‘doing’ something ‘nifty’ or ‘gadget-like’…
    What you’re talking about subtle controls being integrated in fabrics – are they actually available to the general public though – from what i’ve seen, they’re mainly either one-off prototypes or projects from university studies… I’m obviously speaking from the point of view of a consumer who is interested in fashion and technology integration but not seeing the right products out on the market… that’s just my opinion – it’s by no means an informed one…
    As for highly technological textiles, I totally agree with you and this is what i meant when I said that I preferred the subtle integration of technology with fashion… “but for now I prefer the investigation of technology in fashion to be a subtle or slightly more evolved one” – e.g. like what shoe designer Helen Furber has done by researching biodegradable shoe materials and working them into a high fashion shoe.

  17. Wow! that’s so awesome. perfect design.

  18. Futuristic spaee inspired high heels and graphic patterns. What a creative treat:fresh,updated heel shapes.

  19. Elegant & innovative at the same time – what more can you ask for? Stunning.

  20. Nina says:

    beautiful shoes but are they comfortable? i’d just want to put them in a glass case and gaze all day

  21. They are so unique, amazing! 🙂

  22. Jennifer says:

    Really coOol! But you have to be really careful not to get stuck anywhere 😀

  23. Mel says:


  24. Tbone says:

    Where to buy this line? I love it!

  25. These are all absolutely stunning! I’d take a pair of each. I’ve been seeing quite a few light-up shoes (Jimmy Choo, for one) but these are on a whole new level of elegance.

  26. shoes are lovely .i would like to buy……..

  27. shenai says:

    wow. those shoes are absolutely amazing. they are TDF.

  28. Becca says:

    These are some seriously amazing looking shoes

  29. Olive says:

    adorable shoes!

  30. jana says:

    o shit its literally lights!! im so down. where can i get a pair?

  31. jewlz says:

    what’s so cool is the way they light up! Not cheesy at all as with other things I’ve seen!!
    Throw these suckers on with some embellished socks and go out and have the time of your life!

  32. Fibre optic lighting on shoes! Whatever next. An amazing idea though.

  33. so kool shoes…i wonder what’s next…disco lights?

  34. I want! I want!! I neeeed!

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