Today I decided to give a plain old pair of brown lace-up shoes a new lease on life by showering it with a thunderstorm of colorful acrylic paints. I was inspired by this picture of a pair of Alexander McQueen Spring 2010 shoes,
via Dazed Digital
of which I spoke to twitter buddies Steve and Mat about replicating at home with an old pair of shoes and some paints (or more like they were talking amongst themselves and I went on to beat them to their idea, thanks guys hahaha).
McQueen Spring 2010, aka nearly the only Milan collection that mattered, was inspired by a painter's wardrobe. See the same shoes in this look.
I already had in mind the perfect pair of shoes for this project.
the "before": plain brown leather shoes from French Connection
So I took a quick trip to the art supplies shop and went straight for the primary-colored paints, as I imagined they'd make for a nice pop-art graphic accent to my wardrobe of blacks and whites. The basic primary colors weren't available, but I was still quite happy with the pseudo-primary colors I came home with: a saturated ochre yellow, ruby red with just a little hit of rose, and a brilliant cobalt blue. I started by literally splattering some paint with my fingers to form odd shapes, I quite liked this yellow triple-tadpole shape I formed:
I then used a variety of paint-application techniques to build on the pattern: paint-brushing, dabbing on with gloves, swirling ribbons of paint from a height, and smudging colors together with my fingers, it was therapeutic!
As a personal touch, I decided to paint the heels white to provide a clean, crisp contrast to all the chaos going on up top. I was really pleased with the result.
There's something about the juxtaposition of a formal shoe and the messy paint splatters that makes it very charming. I reckon it wouldn't be quite as quirky if I paint-splattered a pair of sneakers.
Now, what to wear, what to wear, what to wear them with?