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I haven't had the time I thought I would be getting since my supposed "freedom" from full time working to go snoop around studios, scope out tidbits and generally be my natural nosy self.  It hasn't worked out that way but when the August holidays (even I'm not nosy enough to bother people in this resting period) and the fashion week hum drum is all over, I'll get it all back on track because as I found out when I went to see shoe designer Atalanta Weller, there's always insight to gain and if you want to fast forward to the end of this post, I also seem to come up with some pretty mint quotes at these moments of insight epiphany that will go down into the "Did Susie ACTUALLY say that?" little notebook… 


Atalanta Weller's progressive tract from one-off editorial shoe designer/footwear collaborator of Henry Holland to having her own ready to wear line is well documented and has also been well supported.  She's won New Gen for the third season and I have a funny feeling this season will take it up a notch as the first two were spent cementing her signature and err… finding her feet… excuse the poor pun…

But if that tract has been off your radar feast your eyes on her aptly named "Concepts" section on her website which has FIIIIIINALLY been made complete with sketches of all of her 'concept' shoes, the ones that have probably been sent out a million times to shoots and are there for pure image making as opposed to any wearing/selling purpose.


Looks familiar?  These are the basic mould shape for the block wedges which Atalanta simply calls "The Big Shoes"… big of course being a gross understatement…



I loved these 'Poodle' shoes too which lead nicely to the 'Woven Wonders' below…


I'm wearing these SO POORLY here, it's actually embarrassing. Firstly, there are my ickle floral socks, to combat weeks of going sockless and then there's the rather fetching plaster from kneeling down in the bath on a razor which gashed the knee… but the point is, these football footies actually are fairly functional if you perfect a waddle-like walk… like if you have too much of a full sized pork pie in one go…


I was wondering when Atalanta Weller might return to her concept work and it seems some shoes are in the works that will add to her iconic oft-seen creations… this piece of cardboard doesn't give too much away other than an angular shape… I'm just gonna assume that it'll be a feat (FEET!) of awesomeness…


A further snoop around revealed a rather eclectic moodboard which again doesn't give too much away…


I particularly loved her wall of shoes where clogs and furry anklets (these need to be plopped onto a boot for an easy fast track route to Chanel A/W 10)

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I also loved these Victorian boots and what I THOUGHT were Victorian skates…turns out the ones on the right were actually Atalanta's own kiddie ice skates… hmmmm… no such retro luck for me… I had to make do with the smelly ones borrowed from Ally Pally…


Another flash from the past… House of Holland  A/W 08 lace-up tartan booties…I couldn't take the purple tartan in heavy doses but on the heel and platform of the shoes combined with the yellow, somehow it makes more sense… 


Of course, this isn't just about looking back at Atalanta's wonderful archives… S/S 11 is upon us and her shoe samples are being made as we speak.  Looking at a few of the sketches and the initial tape'n'paper beginnings, I can definitely see that it's a move away from the first two collections which concentrated on shape and in some ways, boiled down her shape-based ideas into a wearable format.  Here, inspired by a holiday to Morocco, she has derived a linear based pattern which by using cut-outs incorporates positive and negative space into a shoe.  Well, in short, I'm liking the cut-out motif anyhow and can't wait to see how it turns out on the actual shoe itself as there'll be different textures going on as well for all the different sections…




Past.  Done.  Future.  Semi-done (the proof is in the shoe pudding come London Fashion Week…).  Present… ah yes, the fully tangible shoes from her current collections!  These are A/W 10-11 boots in brown and black with that winged point at the back of the shoe which features in a lot of the collection…


Then some of the S/S 10 styles, from which I tried on the wedges which you saw in the previous post…


…and so here comes the slightly ridiculous quotes which flooded out of my mouth in an entirely unpremeditated way… I tried them on and walked a few steps around and said "Oooh.. I'm having a WEIRD sensation here…" which sounds like nothing when I type it but in the context, as I was clomping around, it sounded like I was having a… dear lord no… a shoe-gasm?  Eurgh… for a start, I hate it when fash speak starts getting overly exaggerated and you're either dying over a bag or ready to hump a shoe.  But here I was, talking about weird sensations and going "Oooh…hold up… hmmm…".  After a few more clomps, I then went "I've never felt this way about a wedge before…" as though I was speaking to a lover.  Maybe I've finally defected and every week, I'll be having "shoe-gasms" and "dying" over everything and anything…


Or perhaps in this particular case, it's down to Atalanta's simple genius usage materials.  The reason why I said what I said was that I genuinely felt a slight bit of a bounce as I walked around.  With a wedge that is this size and dense, you normally feel like you're dragging your feet a bit or you're "clopping" around because they are normally made out of wood or
another type of plastic which definitely has no give in it.  There's definitely no springy sensation in some of my other wedges of this height.  Even though these shoes are not actually super-lite like a trainer, as you're walking, it feels like the shoe is giving you some lift.  Turns out Atalanta is one of the very very few designers who use polyurethane, the stuff that is used for trainer moulds) to make the wedge.  It's apparently an expensive process but for Atalanta, comfort is an issue that she takes extremely seriously and she won't be giving up on this wedge solution anytime soon. 

Hopefully she's chuffed that I had my silly epiphany at her studio that even took me by surprise, as clearly she's achieved her comfort goal.  I've walked up and down streets in them today and the bounce is still very much there, giving spring to each step.  And that isn't because I'm jacked up on Refresher sweets and Tizer…





Leave a comment
  1. Roni

    2010-07-24 at 12:00 AM

    Wow, those are some pretty cool shoes! Well mostly, anyway.

  2. trashtastika

    2010-07-24 at 12:25 AM

    I LOVE those tartan booties with the yellow laces!! And, of course, the angular wedges. I really appreciate you showing us the creative process that goes into designing/building/moulding a shoe. It’s fascinating stuff!

  3. Nadia

    2010-07-24 at 2:58 AM

    I love seeing a designer’s process and I always enjoy your posts on shoes. Those House of Holland lace-up boots are so fun!!

  4. venus

    2010-07-24 at 4:13 AM

    I love that you profiled Atalanta. What a great write up and great photos! Those SS11 sketches are SICK! I can’t WAIT!
    Everyone should check out the crazy over-the-knee boots she’s doing for fall.

  5. Kamicha

    2010-07-24 at 10:32 AM

    This nosy side of yours is definitely one of the reasons why this blog is one of the best.
    Atalanta’s shoes look great, awesome mix from conceptual to totally wearable. Got to see them IRL when I make it to London next time.

  6. Annie Spandex

    2010-07-24 at 10:57 AM

    Oooh, I’m particularly inspired by the anklets. Kind of silly of me to land on those of all amazing things in this post, but there you have it. 🙂

  7. sweeti

    2010-07-24 at 12:53 PM

    The continually changing fashions of the West have been generally unparalleled either in antiquity or in the other great civilizations of the world until recent decades. Early Western travellers, whether to Persia, Turkey, Japan or China frequently remark on the absence of changes in fashion there, and observers from these other cultures comment on the unseemly pace of Western fashion, which many felt suggested an instability and lack of order in Western culture. The Japanese Shogun’s secretary boasted (not completely accurately) to a Spanish visitor in 1609 that Japanese clothing had not changed in over a thousand years.[2] However in Ming China, for example, there is considerable evidence for rapidly changing fashions in

  8. Style Queen

    2010-07-24 at 1:16 PM
  9. masha

    2010-07-24 at 1:52 PM

    so great shoes! love them

  10. s.

    2010-07-24 at 2:12 PM


    no, but seriously, nice shoes.

  11. nicool

    2010-07-24 at 3:18 PM

    ah dream machine of a post. yes.

  12. Stella Mayfair

    2010-07-24 at 3:55 PM

    the spring-y wedges are amazing. may i ask how high the heel is?

  13. agatiszka

    2010-07-24 at 4:03 PM

    Fabulous projects, so architectural, love all of them!!

  14. Laveena

    2010-07-24 at 7:25 PM

    O what shoes! They are deadly! Mortal Combat here I come!

  15. Style Spotter

    2010-07-24 at 9:11 PM

    I love them all. really want the ponyskin wedges..yum yum! Your socks are cute by the way!!

  16. Penteleczka

    2010-07-24 at 9:14 PM

    I often visit your blog, because I love your style. This shoes are amazing! . If you want, you can visit me:

  17. Elaine

    2010-07-25 at 4:37 AM

    Wow! Reminds me of Kermit Tesoro’s shoes. 😉

  18. Cami

    2010-07-25 at 9:13 AM

    “shoe-gasms”? haha and fair enough too, those shoes are WONDERFUL. Especially the HOUSE OF HOLLAND 08 lace ups – !!

  19. TiffanysSmallWorld

    2010-07-25 at 10:06 AM

    very interesting!love the detail on those shoes

  20. MrsBossa

    2010-07-25 at 12:57 PM

    I think I almost had a shoegasm once…!
    Great post, and even better title!!

  21. abigail

    2010-07-25 at 12:57 PM

    love these shoes, amazing! Doubt I would be able to walk in them. Look great on you 🙂

  22. franca maisha

    2010-07-25 at 8:10 PM

    wow these are fabulous!! thanks for posting 🙂

  23. AZD

    2010-07-26 at 9:15 PM

    amazing! especially love the laced up ones, and how they have zig-zag lace eyehole patterns. awesome!

  24. Valentine

    2010-07-27 at 12:53 PM

    OMG those are really AMAZING..!!!
    Love it
    -diary of a fashion stylist-

  25. Fatiha

    2010-07-29 at 5:16 PM

    SHOE-PORN!! 😀

  26. Wendy

    2010-07-31 at 3:29 AM

    omg… those crazzzzy shoes are amazing!

  27. Rania

    2013-02-20 at 1:37 AM

    Looking good on your feet! 😉

  28. Rania

    2013-02-20 at 1:39 AM

    Looking good on your feet! 😉

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