Silvia Fado Moreno
How can body motion dictate women’s fashion footwear design and its performance draw our consciousness?
The principal functions of footwear are often sacrificed in Fashion. This project brings sports footwear fundamentals to high-end fashion as sports footwear are based on function and wearability, both very important elements for design features that must interact with the body and be usable by the wearer.
I have been analysing comfort elements in footwear, and specially I studied and developed impact absorption, shoe weight, traction (the relationship between shoe and surface) and upper durability.
I sought to bring these concepts into the design of high-end women’s high heels. The central concept of the project development was impact absorption, which was studied from a mechanical point of view because heels are structures which are affected by many different forces during the process of human motion.
Working with an architect helped to study the forces which interact in the structure of the shoe during movement when walking with high heels. A collaboration with a photographer to photograph and then analyse the forces that interacting with the key points of the human movement that made possible to see the continuous movement broken down into individual parts as a diagram.
To realise the absorption function, I introduced an element of internal movement into these structures. I collaborated with an engineer partner to develop these mechanisms, a mechanical technician to develop the mock-ups, and finally with an industrial partner to enable production of the final product in an industrial and much more professional way to achieve an appropriate standard for the target market.
The mechanism developments were realised considering factors from both machinery and footwear, to develop a balance between them; the factors that have been key to development are: body weight, body motion, friction, and the percentage of mobility to keep the stability and control of the movement.
Impact absorption was developed using different mechanical methods that were not previously used in Fashion, adding features such as springs, rubber balls and, pneumatic hydraulics and metal rings. The last is a new system developed for the industrial partner that I worked with, allowing regulation of the absorption effect depending on body weight.
The mechanism can be bespoke according to bodyweight.
The final outcomes are a representation of introducing mechanical concepts to traditional footwear.
The methodologies used in the project are from traditional making (leather work, traditional machinery making, metal work, wood shaping) and rapid prototyping (3D milling machine, laser cuting and 3D printing).
Special thanks to :
Jaime Fado Vila
Dis Art, S.L.
Letizia Lopez (architect collaboration)
Niki Lampaski (logo and branding)
Elixabete Lopez (photography)