Shoes to Dye For

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The other day, I attended Shoes to Dye For, a ridiculously fun blogger event where we met the team behind The Colour Studio and played at being shoe colourologists for the evening.

For me this simple pleasure of experimenting with liquid rainbows was a little like being back at school, thankfully without those frustrating attempts at mixing powder paint to end up with a dull, murky, lumpy shade of brown. For The Colour Studio this is a serious, professional and precise business, they run a bespoke shoe-dyeing service where you pick a shoe, tell them your ultimate dream colour, then they exactly hand-match that colour and ta-daaa! your shoe is ready, all dyed up to your request and looking fabulous. They call it colourology.

This opportunity to part-design a pair of shoes greatly appeals to me, as someone who is fussy and indecisive about what I proudly place on my tootsies. Though of course I couldn’t escape my indecisiveness – after donning my apron and hearing the extraordinary colour names rolling off the tongues of The Colour Studio team, I opted for ALL the shades and tones I could get my hands on, rather than pick one colour. I even mixed a few colours freestyle and got a bit creative if I may say so myself… And ahem, here are the results:

And to prove how overstimulated I was with excitement, spot the manic Harriet in The Colour Studio’s video…

Sadly for me, it was only singular odd shoes that were dished out to use as foot-shaped canvases, so I couldn’t create my own psychedelic pair to take home. But it was satisfying enough to gawp lovingly at my frankencolour creations and receive praise from those around me, including the very lovely Grace from Moda de la Mode and super shoe designer Diane Krassell, longtime creator of gorgeous wedding footwear and who trained under Emma Hope and Jimmy Choo, no less.

And well, actually, I got to take home a very beautiful pair of the “Simone” shoes, in a decisively cobalt blue colour (though on the night I spotted a shoe in gorgeous copper brown painted by another blogger and fought hard to resist questioning my colour choice…).

Smug.

But fun and smugness aside, and giving the Fashion Popcorn angle to my thoughts, this was a really super example why simple and creative interactivity is so pleasurable, especially in a physical space and in tactile form. I was also surprised by how much I raised my own eyebrows at the idea that the colour is matched by the human eye of the colourologists, as I’d assumed that it was all done through a computer-aided system. This reminded me of when artist Joceline Howe (who featured in Fashion Popcorn #4) was at Hewlett Packard demonstrating her no-tech human photobooth. HP had put her near a plug socket, assuming she was using electrical devices. Then whilst drawing away inside the booth, Jocie overheard someone asking what sort of software was at work in the booth to create such creative and interpretative pictures, and so she amused herself with the idea of leaping out and scaring them with her humaness.

But back to the shoes…

Whilst lovingly stroking my blue beauties a few days later, I had a inspired realisation. They are THE ultimate shoe for the 50s-Hollywood themed NYE party I’m off to. Now if I could just find a fabulously glamourous frock that is just as fancy to team it with.

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