“Fashion or comfort?” is a conundrum most of us are faced with everyday. Footwear designer Silvia Fado has tried her hand at offering up a solution to this age-old problem with her latest collection, Kinetic Traces.
With a strong interest in architecture and a background in knitwear design, Silvia recently completed her masters in Fashion Footwear at the London College of Fashion. Intrigued by the relationship between high fashion and high performance, Silvia used body movement as the catalyst to her collection, successfully combining fashion forward designs with sports footwear.
Silvia sought to infuse function and wearability (which, let’s face it, are two things your favourite pair of stilettos are probably not well acquainted with) into a line of fashion footwear. By analysing elements such as impact absorption, shoe weight, traction and durability (not to mention a little help from an architect, a photographer and a mechanic), Silvia was able to come up with conceptual solutions for day-to-day use.
Springs, rubber balls, pneumatic hydraulics and metal rings combined with leather, metal work, wood shaping, laser cutting and 3D printing might sound like something out of a sci-fi movie but the result is far from gimmicky. The mechanical methods not only help absorb impact and dampen the wearer’s steps but add a touch of surrealism and a modern edge to each shoe. The leather uppers represent traditional shoe-making techniques while the more complex sections of the platforms, created using 3D printed nylon, are more cutting-edge. Finally, the African hardwoods, Columbian verawood and English walnut add that extra mile of style and bring these shoes right back down to earth.
When it comes to choosing between fashion or comfort, most of us have long since been firmly entrenched in our own personal choice – whether we brace through the pain for those few extra inches or shy away from the least bit of toe-crushing discomfort. In Silvia Fado’s world however, all heels are made for walking (and that’s just what they’ll do!).