While flipping through a book called 100 New Fashion Designers a few months ago, I came across a shoe designer who really knocked my socks off (pun intended). Julia Lundsten is a Finnish designer who studied at the Royal College of Art in London. Her first collection for her own brand, Finsk, came out in 2004. And, oh yeah, she won the Manolo Blahnik Award 2 years in a row.
(Book photos © Littlehouse of Style)
The hallmark of her shoes are these incredible wooden heels that look like the love child of a Gerrit Rietveld zig-zag chair and a Bolotowsky painting— the result is perfect craftsmanship, angles, and colors. They really stuck in my mind, because recently I came across a pair of shoes online and immediately recognized them as hers.
(1938 Gerrit Rietvelt Zig-zag Chair, image from Sotheby's)
(Rising Tondo, Ilya Bolotowsky, 1968, from Artnet.com)
Then I started to do some research and saw the shoes she did for Ports 1961 and Basso & Brooke for Spring/Summer 2010...
Not only did every pair designed by Lundsten make me want to pull out my credit card, I liked them so much that when I could only find a few pairs for sale on the internet, I brazenly contacted Finsk directly. The Sales and PR Manager was beyond nice and actually sent me the line sheets for SS10.
It was almost impossible to choose, but I decided on the below pair. They're not shipping out the new line until February, so to tide myself over I inquired about a pair from the AW09 line as well.
Now, I'm not going to lie and say Finsk isn't pricey, but wearable art like this is worth taking on an extra freelance project or even wearing a burlap sack for a couple weeks. No one will notice the sack anyway, because they'll all be staring at my fantastic shoes.