Monday, 22 October 2012

Javari Sneaks into Fashion

If you’re in Covent Garden this month then don’t miss Javari’s exhibition on ‘Sneaking Into Fashion’.

The exhibition ‘Tracks the Trainers’ Journey Through Popular Culture’ shows the sneaker in all its fashionable glory ranging from the classic comfortable styles to the more outrageous and not so practical designs.

Old Timers
The  oldest sneaker on show are the Ked Champion shoes (1917) which are said to be the world’s first sneaker, earning the nickname due to their rubber soles being so quiet that you could sneak up on someone.  Looking quite conservative in an all white canvas upper.

Pop Art
(POW sneaker)
Not taking life too seriously are the playful Pop Art sneakers:  the wide toothy grin on the heel of Peter Max for Randy (1969), the yellow Converse School bus sneaker (1988) and wowing us with a ‘POW’ is Pierre Hardy’s Powerama sneaker which was inspired by the 1960’s pop artist Roy Lichenstein.

(Be and D)
Does my foot look big in this? The Be and D Big City Sneakers SS12 gives the humorous illusion of the flat boot as a glamorous pink stiletto – very slimming indeed.

(JAYZ’s Supra Muska)
From Pop Art to Pop Stars the sneaker has a large fan base: JAYZ’s Supra Muska Skytops Goldsilver (2007) designed by pro-skateboarder Chad Muska was worn by Jay-Z in Rhianna’s Umbrella video, Beyonce’s heeled Isabel Marants and spicing up the trainer’s history is the high Buffalo Wedge trainers (1998) worn by Mel B at the Brit Awards.

(Vivienne Westwood Tracey)
For lovers of the classic fashion brands there is the white Gucci tennis trainer of SS1980 posing with its green / red / green signature web. This was the first luxury designer functional sports shoe. Instantly recognisable by its colourful stripes is the Missoni X Converse SS11.

Vivienne Westwood’s Tracey heeled sneaker (2003) caused a bit of a stir with Adidas due to the three coloured stripes on the side similar to their signature look and later had a  fourth diagonal stripe added across them.

The more outrageous designs include the Nike Pigeon (2010) by Print Club and The Jaws of Chance 2010 courtesy of Cristina Gutian. Nike Pigeon was produced to highlight the demise of Pigeon Racing.  The more disturbing Jaws of Chance with its mini pair of antlers, fur and hoof represents the speed and strength of a young deer mixed with bittersweet memories of an entire life.

Sculptural Art
(Jeffrey Campbell)
Looking sculptural is the heel-less wedge Ascension sneaker (2012) by footwear designer Jeffrey Campbell. Campbell aims to capture the essence of streetwear with vintage and catwalk style.

Puma X Hussein Chalayan Urban Swifts SS13 shows the speed at which we travel through our breakneck modern lives by using 3D latex mounds on the heel making the shoe look stretched and distorted through speed.
(chewing gum)
Footwear artist Kobi Levi is renowned for creating art in his collections. The Chewing Gum heels shoe (2012) captures the unfortunate moment of when you step into some chewing gum. Here he has made the stretched piece of chewing gum to form the high heel of the shoe.

And last but definitely not least is the Nike Zoom Victory Elite Spikes Volt Collection which won two Olympic gold medals this year with a little help from Mo Farah. The high tensil strength Nike Flywire cables wrap around and under the foot to provide a personalised fit.

Jaravi Sneaks Into Fashion: 18-28 October in Covent Garden Piazza. For more information go to

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky  

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