Friday, November 20, 2015 - The Finnish Institute in London is delighted to host the FINSK’s 10th Anniversary Exhibition, from 12 November to 15 December 2015, at the Institute in King’s Cross. FINSK will showcase its designs on purpose-built installations by Royal College of Art architecture graduates Henry Beech Mole and James Smith from Smith & Beech Mole.
FINSK 10th Anniversary Exhibition
FINSK 10th Anniversary Exhibition

FINSK is the London based label of Finnish shoe designer Julia Lundsten, launched in 2005. Julia is an alumni of the Royal College of Art, where she won the prestigious Manolo Blahnik Award two years consecutively. 'Exquisite', 'divine' and 'perfect' were just some of the superlatives used by Blahnik to describe Lundsten’s shoes.

The FINSK aesthetic comprises contrasting leathers with sculptural wooden heels, Julia has been described as ‘The Eames of footwear’ drawing inspiration from furniture and architecture design.

To commemorate the anniversary FINSK has returned to the archive to create a retrospective of iconic styles from over the years. FINSK is often celebrated for the more elaborate and boundary breaking ‘PROJECT’ shoes, experiments made purely to test something or push an idea to its limits.

The popularity of these designs among journalists and buyers alike has ensured their iconic status as part of the FINSK brand identity. Alongside the PROJECT shoes a staple for FINSK has been the mid heel range, beautifully designed and comfortable shoes for the modern woman.

Lundsten explains: 'I often think of shoes as ‘mini-buildings’ for the feet. There is a lot of engineering and detail similar to that in architecture, so I think it’s quite natural that shoe designers look at architecture for inspiration and architects are intrigued by shoes and want to have a go. Shoes have their own architecture and engineering, though, so it’s not always as easy without actual experience in designing and producing shoes.'

Aesthetically FINSK embodies specific design principles. Contrast in design is an important factor, such as a very polished, finished surface of a heel combined with a more rustic natural leather upper. Another juxtaposition is the contrast of busy London life compared to the very quiet, calm Finnish landscapes and a much slower pace of life.

The main concept of FINSK is to work with traditional, natural materials, such as wood and leather, but use them in a very modern way. Julia Lundsten seeks to continually evolve a label with dynamic longevity that is renowned for its architectural design balancing playful femininity with a sense of daily indulgence, and effortless style.

The exhibition is supported by Nordic Bakery and Smith & Beech Mole.

Finnish Institute
London, Unit 1, 3 York Way, London N1C 4AE, UK

12 November - 15 December 2015

The exhibition is open Monday to Friday 10am - 5p.

More FINSKshoes at the Virtual Shoe Museum.

Monday, November 09, 2015 - From Friday November 27th till Sunday 29th Meesterlijk will take place in Amsterdam at the Westergasfabriek. During this edition of Meesterlijk you will find various shoe designers, artists and makers. They will share their passion for shoes and show their crafts of shoemaking and leatherwork.
Various shoes at Meesterlijk
Various shoes at Meesterlijk

The centre of expertise for leather and shoe design in the Netherlands. The place where you can embrace the crafts of shoemaker and leatherwork in its full spectrum. The strength lies in the high level of expert knowledge of shoe techniques, leatherwork, and anatomy, fit and shoe design. Both the traditional craft as innovative techniques with the most modern machines are addressed in this practice orientated education. The course knows a unique connection between the shoe industry and meets the demand for craftsmen in the business. Professional lecturers convey their expertise and passion to the talented and creative designers of the future. This ensures that the Netherlands in the future can continue to deliver the design talents needed and we remain proud of Dutch crafts.

By Swart & Rademaker
Liesel Swart and Dorien Rademaker are two passionate artisan shoemakers. Professional women who are always looking for new applications and not for the obvious materials. Their collaboration has now resulted in the LEV'01. A robust timeless boot from high quality 100% wool and vegetable tanned leather. The felt shaft provides warmth, is firm and strong and naturally repels moisture and dirt. Finnish expertise in the production of the felt is responsible for snug warm feet up to - 20 degrees. Simplicity and elegance combined with quality and comfort.

René van den Berg creates shoes for many couturiers. At Meesterlijk he presents his own quirky cool men’s collection. Distinguished by absolute comfort, low environmental impact and handmade in a private atelier. Made from organically tanned leather and durable rubber. There are three models available, with or without a heel, ranging from a basic execution to tailor made colour schemes. Come and try them on at Meesterlijk.

Alexander Khorikian is a gifted shoe designer. Trained at the Dutch Shoe Academy he runs his own label. His latest collection 'LUSCIOUS' is indeed enchanting, desirable, daring and stunningly beautiful. But above all: distinguished! Perfectly tailor made for the self assured, stylish woman who dares to wear. Contrasting materials, dramatising lines and ornaments based on nature’s elegant shapes. He works in an artisan and personal fashion. Based on your good taste, style and wishes he designs several models that resonate your personality. Tailor made lasts ensure a perfect fit. You can be part of the artisan production process that follows. The result: a unique pair of shoes that compliment the wearer on her excellent taste.

Kelderman is a designer who has fully mastered the craft of sculpturing. This has led to the creation of a momentous series of stone shoes in alabaster, opal and serpentine, with detailing in wood, copper and aluminium. The series has been internationally presented in the Virtual Shoe Museum. It can now be viewed live on show at Meesterlijk.

Joaney Korevaar is a Dutch designer of sophisticated shoes and bags. Her collection is characterised by the combination of simplicity, big statements, the use of colour and highly detailed execution. The novel, unexpected shapes are designed and handcrafted in her own atelier. During Meesterlijk she presents the Pump-ups to embrace your perfect pumps. You can order these tailor-made after your desired specifications. Find these and a bag to match at the Meesterlijk presentation.

Ike is a second year student “creative craftsman” at the HMC Amsterdam specialising in shoes. An enterprising student who couldn’t wait to get started. He invested in various machines and apparatus and set up his own business. He is fascinated by leather. Exotic leather in particular, such as python, anaconda, crocodile, lizard, ostrich, stingray, salmon, river snake and eel. Ike has not finished learning and his craft develops every day. His shoes, bags, bracelets, belts and wallets are manually produced and can be ordered tailor made to the customer’s wishes. A master in the making. Visit this enthusiastic young craftsman / entrepreneur and discuss your options.

Pepa van Asperen designs fashion accessories and is known for her unexpected use of remnants that are artfully crafted into exclusive and original products. In her own atelier based in the Rotterdam harbour tailor made hats, bags and socks are produced from eco-friendly materials. Felt hats from high quality blankets in Art Deco style and gaiters for various occasions to be worn over high heels and pumps. The collections are everlasting, yet continuously innovative: slow fashion in top form.

Meesterlijk - design and crafts
27 -29 November 2015, 12.00 - 18.00
Westergasfabriek, Polonceaukade 2
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

3 days - 3 venues
Where can you buy objects directly from the product designers, fashion designers and artisans themselves? Where can you still find the pure passion for the creation process? At Meesterlijk, the contemporary event for design and craftsmanship. Your ticket (10 euro) offers access to all these venues.

There are unique products for sale, like furniture, glass and crystal objects of use, wooden, metal and ceramic objects and of course wearable items such as tailor made shirts, shoes (for both men and women), hats, bags, jewellery and other accessories.

For more information Meesterlijk

Sunday, November 01, 2015 - During the Shoe Crush month, during November 2015, an artistic exhibition from unique and innovative shoes curated by the Virtual Shoe Museum in cooperation with CELS Events are on display at the BurJuman Mall in Dubai.
Shoe Crush at the BurJuman Mall in Dubai
Shoe Crush at the BurJuman Mall in Dubai

The exhibition hosts sixty pairs of unique and bizarre shoes that were inspired by nature, iconic architecture, fine art and fashion trends. These pieces of art are designed by notorious designers and students from all over the world, known for their creativity and bold stance, due to the fact that they enjoyed expertise in different creative streams such as fashion design, engineering, fine art and others.

The exhibition embeds the innovative concept of shoes craftsmanship by shedding the light on the artistic dimension of this industry, away from its consumption nature. It also represents a unique opportunity for footwear fans to take a sneak peek on a wide range of non- traditional shoes that attracts those who appreciate distinction.

The heart of the collection is the design of the shoe in its purest form: no matter whether it is wearable, but is essential that stimulates imagination and in all this, a good dose of humor is helpful.

BurJuman Mall
Khalid Bin Al Waleed Road, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

For more information BurJuman Mall

Wednesday, October 07, 2015 - We invite you to visit our exhibition Damn Pretty Dutch Shoes during the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. From 17 till 25 October, 2015 at the location of Piet Hein Eek in Eindhoven. Unusual materials. Unexpected forms. Craft combined with high tech and new techniques. 15 top designers present a diverse and inspiring collection of experimental shoes.
Damn Pretty Dutch Shoes
Damn Pretty Dutch Shoes

Amber Ambrose Aurèle
René van den Berg
Janine van den Bosch
Nienke van Dee
Ellis Droog
Chris van den Elzen
Iris van Herpen X United Nude
Chrissie Houtkooper
Alexander Khorikian
Dora Kloppenburg
Peter Popps
Peterson + Stoop
Mandy Rose
Ilja Visser
A number of participating designers will be present at the exhibition.

Damn Pretty Dutch Shoes
Organized by the Virtual Shoe Museum
A concept of Liza Snook & Chris van den Elzen
Film: Stainless Media & Hessel Waalewijn
Graphic design: Erik Cox & Chris van den Elzen

Location Piet Hein Eek
Halvemaanstraat 30
5651BP Eindhoven

Opening hours
Saturday 17th till Saturday 24th October: 10:00 till 21:00
Sunday 25th October: 10:00 till 18:00

For more information Dutch Design Week

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 - This exhibition tells the story of inspirational and groundbreaking fashion shoes of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It shines a light on those fashion and shoe designers who left their footprint on the world of shoes by means of the exquisite and innovative designs they created. Based on the long-term loan to MoMu from shoe collectors Geert Bruloot and Eddy Michiels.
Footprint - The tracks of Shoes in Fashion
Footprint - The tracks of Shoes in Fashion

This exhibition includes early and iconic work by Prada, Maison Margiela, Dirk Bikkembergs, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, A.F. Vandevorst, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Tokio Kumagaï, Roger Vivier, J.W. Anderson, Balenciaga, André Perugia, Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood, Salvatore Ferragamo, Patrick Cox, Raf Simons, Azzedine Alaïa and many more.

A book by the title ‘Foot Print – The tracks of shoes in fashion’, published by Lannoo, will accompany the exhibition. The book will contain over 30 interviews by Geert Bruloot with the world-renowned shoe and fashion designers responsible for some of the landmark shoe designs of the past 40 years. Accompanied by new images of
Bruloot and Michiels’s shoe collection, and images from the designers’ archives, it promises to be a true feast for shoe enthusiasts and fashion lovers alike. Foot Print features contributions from writer and editor Hettie Judah.

Footprint – The Tracks of Shoes in Fashion
From 03|09|15 > 14|02|16
Fashion Museum Province of Antwerp - MoMu
Nationalestraat 28
2000 Antwerp

For more information visit MoMu

Heel-only shoe in wood and patent leather by Jurgi Persoons, S/S 1997, reproduction of a 1950s sandal.
Photo © MoMu/Frédéric Uyttenhove