At Katie Blauer, collaboration is key. The more specific information shared during the design process, the more personalized the custom shoes can become! This year I made two pairs of shoes for Rosalie, who was the definition of a model client and truly a pleasure to work with. Rosalie went beyond thoroughly completing the Katie Blauer Questionnaire by inviting me to her dress fitting at Barneys on Madison Avenue in Manhattan. There, I was able to see her wedding gown in person so that I could color-match the material and discuss alteration details with her tailor. We settled on a heel height for the shoes and confirmed that she’d be able to replace the simple fabric covered buttons that came on the dress with vintage style diamond encrusted buttons that Rosalie had picked out at a nearby shop. This presented the perfect opportunity to coordinate exact details between the dress and the shoes, so after her fitting we walked a few blocks to the quaint little shop, called Tender Buttons, and bought 2 more of the same style. I would later incorporate them into the shoes to fasten the ankle straps, and although it was a subtle tieback to the detail on Rosalie’s dress, I know this extra level of customization made her wedding day feel all the more special. Click for more shots of Rosalie’s wedding shoes in our Gallery.
Because Rosalie married her Australian sweetheart in Hawaii, a local party was planned later in the summer so the newlyweds could celebrate with those who weren’t able to attend the destination wedding. For this reception, Rosalie’s sister, Abby, who is currently studying Fashion Design at Cornell University, was appointed to create her party dress. This was an exciting chance to work collaboratively with a fashion designer and be able to provide our client with a complete head-to-toe customized look! Throughout the process, Abby was generous enough to send photos from her own sketch stage and fitting sessions, as well as share the excess materials from the dress. Thanks to this great collaboration, Rosalie’s outfit was a huge success with tastefully coordinated details such as the V-shape overlays at the back of the heel echoing the dramatic V-line back of the dress, the mother-of-pearl buckle on the ankle strap matching back to the mother-of-pearl belt accent, and the same lurex linen material used across both the dress and the body of the shoe. Since Abby’s design was a girly vintage-inspired silhouette, I thought the bold oversized pom-pom would be a fun compliment to the retro swing skirt. Lastly, the metallic silver leather elements were made from the same leather as used on Rosalie’s wedding shoes, so that the two pairs would sit as a cohesive collection, commemorating this major milestone in Rosalie’s life. Click for more shots of Rosalie’s reception shoes in our Gallery.
The process of working with Rosalie and Abby really opened my eyes to the wonderful potential of client collaboration and I hope to push this concept even further in the future. One step in that direction will be rewriting the Katie Blauer information packet to include additional questions that could spark the incorporation of more personalized design details, as well as providing easier ways to share inspiration images back and forth. Although I’ll be the first to admit the tool of collaboration has become somewhat of an overused marketing ploy in the fashion and footwear industries these days, the type of collaboration I’m proposing is more about good communication and creative thinking, where only you stand to benefit when your big day finally arrives. If you’re a one-of-a-kind girl ready to collaborate with Katie Blauer, send us a note and let’s get started!