The enchantment behind ‘The Cinderella Shoe’← Back to Blog
Cheltenham Fashion Week’s iconic shoe has returned this year as a stunning new creation, the ‘Cinderella’ shoe. It has already started to once again tour its way around the Cotswolds, but let’s take a look at the incredible effort that has gone into making this sensational, fairy tale work of art.
The designer and creator of the ‘Cinderella’ shoe is of course the talented Jane Baker. Not only is Jane the Arts Development Director for us at Cheltenham Fashion Week, but she is also the Co-Director of Cotswold Weddings, a wedding photography business.
Jane Baker didn’t make last year’s shoe but when we needed a new shoe this year, she thought it would be a great chance to get involved and design the perfect sculpture that would really stand out for Cheltenham Fashion Week. With a first class honours degree in sculpture and design, she was the perfect woman for the job.
The ‘peep-toe’ shoe is an impressive 8ft high, 9ft long and 4ft wide. The surface of the shoe glistens with thousands of gold bottle tops. The decorative heel and toe of the shoe have been embellished with odd buttons, recycled beads, broken brooches and unwanted pieces of jewellery, transforming the steel frame into a magical and magnificent masterpiece.
Cinderella fans know that when you have a Fairy Godmother, even an ordinary average pumpkin can miraculously turn into something magical! And this year’s shoe is a symbolic embodiment of this theory. With the guidance of Fairy Godmother Jane Baker, the unwanted pieces of jewellery have all been recycled and reused, transforming the steel skeleton of the shoe into the enchanting ‘Cinderella’ shoe.
Jane’s friend, Darren from Stanton Designs welded the steel frame of the shoe, which is inspired from a classic 1940’s style. This structure was then covered with galvanised steel mesh.
Once the mesh was in place, Jane was then able to start adding the jewellery. However, it wasn’t just that simple, this was an incredibly time consuming process. Hours, weeks and months were spent collecting and gathering thousands of beads, buttons, brooches and watches. Some were donated from many charity shops and car boot sales. Not to mention Hobby Craft’s Cheltenham store donating a generous 200 pots of recycled glass beads.
Considering the sheer size of the ‘Cinderella’ shoe, a vast amount of beads and jewellery were needed and the generous donations have been truly appreciated. Jane said “I have been extremely grateful to all the people who have donated jewellery, buttons etc. to help make this sculpture happen, also my family and friends putting hours of their time trawling to car boots and charity shops.”
After enough materials had been collected, all the jewellery was deconstructed so the copious amounts of beads could be individually rethreaded onto the galvanised steel wire on the shoe’s frame. The majority of the beads are mainly gold, silver, glass or pearls.
The Cinderella Shoe’s fairytale secret: Each of the vintage brooches and watches that have been used to decorate the shoe, have all their hands set at midnight.
As for the insole and heel of the shoe, hundreds of glistening golden bottle tops have been carefully glued on one by one, onto lengths of wire which were then wired into specific allocated places. The end result is truly remarkable.
For Jane, she has had to balance the workload of creating and designing the shoe alongside running a wedding photography business, as well as being a fulltime mum. Jane said “It has been a challenge but it has been fantastic to have the opportunity to take on such a large project.” It is an understatement to say the least that Jane has accomplished an impressive achievement. All the hard work, effort and countless hours that have been invested into the project have definitely paid off.
Thanks to Fairy Godmother Jane…
Cinderella will go to
the ball Cheltenham Fashion Week.