I remember my first big trip up to Auckland from Taumarunui to visit ‘246’ on Queen street, and falling in love with a duck egg blue pair of slingback block heel shoes in their shoe department. The purchase was exquisite and only rivalled by memories of black shiny patent MaryJanes and white Beatle Boots just for a moment. I was 12! The quest for interesting shoes began. And I know I’m not alone. The beauty of white leather lace up roller skates at 5 with the associated Friday night spot prizes on the local roller skating rink lives on. Since I’ve always had a quirky off beat design aesthetic it’s been hard to fit in with normal society when it comes to shoes and dress. In my late teens we made huaraches (Mexican) from car tyres and bands of cut soft coloured leather woven together. And at Uni (Otago) I wore brown leather boots with fringe tassels all mounted on a tall wooden platform soles with press studs.

So now I’m a grown up it’s time to give back to the ‘shoe child’ within us.

My first foray into the world of fashion and performance was taking part in the World of Wearable art awards in 1999 achieving a highly commended award 2002, then participating in NZ Fashion Week with ‘Tatton’ label – NZ Avant garde Haute couture in 2002. These years were involved working with wardrobe and costume design crews in film – ‘Lord of the Rings’, ‘the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe’ (another childhood favourite) as a textile dyer, and starting my own fashion label and fashion and art gallery in Nelson.

During and following my Masters in Art & Design 2010 in Spatial Design at AUT ‘Lameness and the bifurcating catwalk’, I’ve developed a strong interest in the catwalk as performance art and as political agency. The examination of, and experimentation with the catwalk ‘walk’ and shoes, has become an ongoing investigation for me since. I travelled to Boston in 2012 as part of a Popular Culture Symposium – National Conference Program presenting a paper on gender issues associated with the catwalk ; another presentation at Fashion Tales in Milan 2012 – (Valerie Steele) fashion tales; a catwalk show performance in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2012 ‘Milk and Mucus’; and a further show at TAPAC as part of the Auckland Fringe Festival in 2013 ‘Milk and Mucus 2’. I recently graduated Master of Arts Management with distinction and a Deans award for excellence. So very proud!

The Shoes Extravaganza project has risen out of all these influences and writings. It is my sincere desire to encourage the ‘inner shoe designer’ in us to come out, and be expressed in all its glory.

1.
1 Feb - entries open
1 June 2016 - entries close
2.
Early june 2016 - initial selection of shoes from photos. Selected entries sent to auckland for choreographing on models and show development.
1 junr 2016 - entries close
3.
Late October 2016 - awards announced
October/November 2015 - shows