left corner left corner
China Daily Website

Cinderella, eat your heart out

Updated: 2012-09-24 13:44
By Xu Junqian ( China Daily)

Cinderella, eat your heart out

Italian shoe designer Cesare Casadei's works are embellished with crystals that emulate a kaleidoscope of corals and snowflakes.


Cinderella, eat your heart out

Sparkling Jerome C. Rousseau shoes. Photos provided to China Daily

Shoes gleaming with crystal pack the promise of magic, and not just for Cinderella. They inspire fashion designers in real life to create the perfect pair.

That was evident at "Sparkling Contrast", a recent one-day shoe exhibition that displayed a total of 26 pairs of crystal-adorned shoes created by 13 internationally prestigious designers in Shanghai.

"The exhibition is not a collection of actual footwear, but a collection of contemporary art pieces," says Hermann Winkler, senior vice-president operations Asia North of Swarovski Elements, which sponsored the thousands grams of sparkling crystals used by the designers.

The shoes created for the show - varying from high-heels to sandals and loafers in form, and from punk to ballerina and to academic in style - were mysteriously luminescent under spotlights in the darkened display area, like hidden treasures in the dark forest.

One of the major subjects adopted by many designers was the theme of nature.

Inspired by the brilliant sea creatures and cooling arctic ice prisms, top Italian shoe designer Cesare Casadei, for example, offers two works titled "Ariel" and "Anastasia". Each of them is embellished with crystals that emulate a kaleidoscope of coral reef and transparent snowflakes.

The American designer Ruthie Davis, who dreamed of shoes set against the deep, blue oceans one night, created a pair of maritime blue sandals and another of shell-white, with a rose-gold, crystal-studded wedge that reminds people of cliffs meeting the sea.

For Charlotte Olympia, the high-fashion designer loved by Sarah Jessica Parker, Keira Knightly and Katty Perry, inspiration comes from "a cheerful spider", as she put it in the catalog of the exhibition. With crystal web set against the black velvet, the shoes creates an illusion that the little spider is actually crawling while someone puts it on and walks about.

Rupert Sanderson, a British design graduate of the Cordwainers College in London, however, is trying to realize the concept of contrast through his two pairs of shoes.

Both using the Sanderson's signature lip-embellished platform sandals, Gothic Queen's glittering black gems and the candy-colored crystals of Pop Princess are reflecting two opposite sides of a girl in the eye of the designer.