The Caroline Cree shoe blog is dedicated to providing updates and insight about footwear, designing a collection and my trials and tribulations of starting a small fashion focused business. In addition to talking about everything we’re working on, our plans to archive each and every collection here on the blog is a decision we’ve made to make it easy for both us and our customers to look back over time to how the collection has evolved.
I realize we have pictures of the line in the store and I’m duplicating them here, but when items sell out they will no longer be listed in the store section of the site. By posting each style within our blog, it serves as a place for us to look back over time at each and every design produced. An archive of the collection to see the progression with time.
As a follow up to our last post about color inspiration for the season coming primarily from the beach, I thought it was timely to highlight a shoe where the translation is heavily apparent.
The Rosabele flat is a mixed media shoe that incorporates resin pebbles in a sand color cupped in a jewelry setting. Texture and tonal colors are added with the layering of Italian flecked canvas, vachetta leather and a solitary over-sized sequin beneath the pebbles. The styling of the shoe is classic Capri construction with vachetta leather.
This is a great casual beach flat and I can’t wait to wear a pair on the beach in Montauk!
People often ask me where I get color inspiration for my collections. Color is everywhere however with that being said, it is often very hard to define. With so many choices, how can you pick only a handful? Color, like many things is also trend driven. Differing market sectors (leather, yarn) forecast their color predictions for up-coming seasons at global trade shows. High fashion runway shows and photography contribute to color forecasting although mostly in the mass market.
However, if you are a leader in fashion, it is up to you to decide which color palette is appropriate to your customer and product line, while being mindful of emerging and current trends. A huge trend at the moment is the neon trend. Strong colors were dominating a couple of months ago, however with the appearance of spring, the sorbet/pastel palette is filtering through. Will neon be around next year? Possibly. My prediction is a milkier trend will take place. For example, if you added milk to neon paint – the result is the toned down version. The super bright neon’s may be used only as small pops. I am also feeling soft yellow and vibrant royal blue.
Also, as a shoe designer, you have to be aware of how people are going to outfit trends. If someone is wearing a pair of bright neon colored denim, it is unlikely that she will be wearing them with a neon shoe. Thus, we must interpret trends differently. Designing into a complimentary nude palette that works with and doesn’t compete with a jewel tone/neon palette that apparel may be showing, it often a smarter move. Yes, you can have one or two pieces incorporating a trending color in your collection, for customers that are going to participate in accessories rather than a pant – however there needs to be a balance and that’s what a clever designer has to think about.
Colors for my first collection were inspired by the sun kissed palette of the beach. Very much a resort collection, I felt the palette was appropriate. Grains of sand, ranging from chocolate brown to golden stone. The orange and coral light that hit the neutral stones at dusk. Drift wood basking in the sun. Pictures that I take allow me to match leathers and stones to the colors within. Forcing yourself to focus on key complimentary colors ensures that your collections looks cohesive and thought out.
The pebbles on the beach, not only gave me inspiration for the color palette; they make me think about shape. If you notice in this collection, circles are the shape of choice.
In Madison’s embellishment – we used 3 difference faceting techniques and tonal colors. Smooth (which reminds me completely of a natural stone), square faceting and angled faceting. The different faceting were to give a subtle sparkle to the stones. Using all 3 techniques on one piece is normally reserved for fine jewelry, however we thought the attention to detail would not be lost on our customers and are really thankful for all the positive feedback and emails about this style. We are excited that our customers love it as much as we do.
The Renaissance flat is a very example of mixed media at it’s best. It combines, Italian marble stones, swarovski crystals, overlapping petersham ribbon, large paillette sequins and Italian brocade. Whilst remaining understated and sophisticated. Each component is complimentary. The amethyst and bronze colors used on the leathers were inspired by the marble stones. When I looked closely at the stone I could see these colors within. I wanted to enhance the stone in any way I could and color was a great way to do it!