The idea of playing with a loafer was just too tempting for me so I had to delve in. After watching a short scene in Mulholland Drive where Betty and Rita both fall for the singer’s lip syncing in Club Silencio I wanted to use this scene as my inspiration for my loafer. You can check here if you want to see the scene, basically they are watching this singer who performs (lip syncs) the song “Crying” by Roy Orbison with such realistic emotion that they are both surprised when she collapses and the song continues, which proves that it was just a previously recorded tape…Anyway, the idea was to create a slip on loafer illusion with nude leather. Here are some quick process photos and then onto the final design. Didn’t do this to sell, a lot of times I just design things to have fun with an idea and watch it materialize into something 3-dimensional. It’s so nice to be able to do that without any planning or pressure. These fun projects always inform my other designs in ways that are really important so I always make sure to work in a couple of designs here and there purely for experimentation.
My shoe was draped on a pointy toe last; I started out with muslin to develop the pattern. This part is always the least stressful.
Here I’ve styled the loafer with a blazer I just designed and skinny jeans. Again, wearing a blazer as a shirt with nothing underneath.
So I played with that nude illusion by using nude leather that perfectly matched my skin tone, but in this photo you can definitely tell (just by the sheen) that my feet look a little too wax like to be real. It was incredibly challenging to find that perfect nude tone. From afar you can’t tell that I’m wearing an ankle boot, they look more like slip ons.. which is essentially what this loafer is, just a plain ankle boot! I also wanted to create this illusion that the heel was kind of standing on nothing, kind of like if someone from afar saw these they’d ask the question, how are those heels attached directly to her bare foot…
I love having a center seam running down a shoe, especially when it’s nude, again it looks like part of your skin but then the seam is a dead giveaway.
One of the things I also experimented with was zippers. I know that invisible zippers are almost always used for delicate dresses and softly tailored pieces of clothing, but I wanted to use it for this shoe. I just fell in love with the look when I tested it out on muslin and I also like that I’ve never seen any other shoe using an invisible zipper before- kind of unexpected. It was important to me to keep this center seam (which also acts as a closure) very discreet and the invisible zipper helps me achieve this effect.
For the center portion of the loafer or the tongue I didn’t stitch it down to the nude part because I still wanted there to be a strong slip on feeling so it really feels like this part is a separate flap- if it were to be stitched down it would look too fake. The two side pattern pieces are stitched down all the way though.