I was in my favorite Mexican restaurant the other night, visiting with Steven, one of my favorite young men, when I noticed his fabulous winged shoes! I asked him about the embellishment on them, and he said he'd sewn and attached it himself. Now, Steven is very creative and terrific with a sewing machine, so I wasn't surprised. But I was impressed and I wanted to share the results with you.
Steven said he was inspired to create his embellishments when he saw a pair of Adidas on the web that had wings on them. Jeremy Scott has been doing winged Adidas since late 2008 and if you search online, you'll find them in several different finishes. All of them, however, have the wings threaded on the outer-ankle side using shoe laces to attach them.
Steven tried a different tactic. He drew a wing, cut it out, then traced it wrong side up to get a reversed version to use on the other shoe.
To make his wings, he used three layers of fabric: heavy canvas on the bottom for stiffness, gray cotton in the middle and netting on top (so the gray would show through). He transferred the wing and feather lines onto the fabric, then used a dense zigzag stitch to create the outlines and hold the fabric layers together. After stitching, he trimmed away the excess fabric.
To attach the wings to his canvas shoes, Steven used fabric glue under the large oval area and under the tip of the third feather from the top. The idea was to give the wing some room to stand up and out. Finally, he did invisible free-motion stitching inside the oval area to provide a more secure bond than the glue alone would afford.
Steven has worn and washed these shoes many times, so he apologizes if the wings are no longer pristine. If you're ever in Morro Bay, CA, stop by Taco Temple and say hi to him -- he's a host and sometime waiter, and a darling man!
One of the things I like about Steven's wings is that they are more Mercury-like than Jeremy Scott's, especially in their placement. Wings are in on shoes this year; Vivian Westwood has some and so does Matt Bernson.
I love the idea of winged shoes -- I'm going to have to come up with my own version and stop by Taco Temple to show Steven!