Haut-au-courant shoe designers have mastered the magic of Cinderella’s slipper. As platforms and spikes have lined our closet floors, cobblers continuously prove that standing on a pair of uniquely soled shoes will never go out of style. Venerable bottier’s have already set the highest of standards with controversial heights and mind-boggling architectural designs, but Joanne Stoker and Lislie Yeung, two new statement-making designers, will readily compete with even your most prized Valentinos for space in the closet.
A self-described shoe obsessived, Stoker graduated with a masters in shoe design from the esteemed Cordwainers College, London College of Fashion. After success in various design competitions, Stoker caught the eye of Jimmy Choo himself, who provided the fledgling talent with guidance and coaching for her first collection debut during autumn/winter ‘10 London Fashion Week. Her period-inspired pieces are adorned in the most deliciously ripe metallics, with killer craftsmanship and formulaic architecture. Mathematically sound and embellished with ruffles, tassels, snakeskin patent leathers, sequins, bows, feathers and even shell-like appliqués, her designs have an aristocratic flair that’s just as flamboyant as its formulaic design.
Like Stoker, Hong Kong-born Yeung also perfected her raw talent at the Cordwainers College in London after attending Parsons School of Design in New York. With two prestigious schools under her belt, Yeung gained hands-on experience with a number of noble brands, where she “crispin-ed” her fetish. Now based in London, Yeung spread her wings with an s/s ‘11 collection of her own that was inspired by a most rare inherent anomaly: albinism. Although the phenomenon exists in humans and animals, it’s considered an unlikely occurrence and its distinguishable attributes make it an utterly beautiful flaw. Coined the “Albino” collection, the line featured pinks, silvers and whites paired with delicate Chantilly laces and exotic skins (stingray, python and ostrich) fixed atop a fierce stiletto or mind-boggling curvaceous wedge. As an antagonistic extreme, melanin—the polar opposite of albinism—manifested in lux black booties and spat-esque, dominatrix-like knee-high boots. Yeung polished the allure of adversity and its need to coexist in all walks of life with her albino-themed debut.