The FN Shoe Star, Episode 2

Manolo says, and now the second episode of the FN Shoe Star is available on the interwebs for your viewing pleasure.

Please go and watch this now so that you may understand what the Manolo is talking about in the subsequent paragraphs. (It is only nine minutes in the length, far too short to be the onerous task.)

(tick tock, tick tock)

And, you are back….

This episode is the continuation of the auditions of the applicants for the six finalist positions, and as before, it was the succession of brief interviews in which the aspirants presented the sketches and the finished shoe to three editors of the Footwear News, led by the broodingly handsome Michael Atmore, who will certainly be playing the role of Heathcliff in the Footwear News summer production of Wuthering Heights.

Michael Atmore

'A half-civilised ferocity lurked yet in the depressed brows and eyes full of black fire, but it was subdued; and his manner was even dignified: quite divested of roughness, though stern for grace.' ~ Emily Brönte

And now, imagine the Heathcliff constrained by having to work as the editor of the fashion-trade magazine…. the suppressed, primal rage bubbling beneath the surface as he orders the reshooting of the cover feature on the Teva Sandals… It has all the makings of the most amusing sit-com.

Be that as it may, it is nonetheless fun to watch Michael Atmore as the judge, if only to see the facial reactions.

As for what was submitted by the applicants this week, if you read the Manolo’s discussion of the previous episode you will instantly see that the same central problem persists: namely that the proficiency in cobbling is more difficult to acquire than that of the fashion sketching. (For the proof, look at the sketches versus the shoes in these examples: Alexandria, Brittany, Matthew, and so on.)

And so, as with last week, several designers displayed intriguing and attractive shoe sketches, only to be undermined by the lackluster, unoriginal, and/or poorly constructed actual shoe.

Maggies Shoe

$9.99 at Wal-Mart

This drippy and cheap-looking sandal above, produced by the Maggie, was singled out for particular scorn.

Although, not everything was junk. Christina produced the boot that was almost wearable, although she has the problem sketching!

Then there was Rachel, who not only made the good sketches, but actually delivered the tall boot that looked perfectly cromulent…

Rachels Boot

Rachels Boot

The bit over the top with the details, but not bad, although again the Manolo worries about the quality of the construction.

And this is, as the Manolo has said, the central problem: the construction of well-made and beautiful shoes is wicked hard.

Learning how to meld together disparate materials (cloth, leather, silk, wood, metal) into the single objet d’art takes years of practical training and experience.

It is the difference between being the apprentice and being the college student. Cobbling is learned by apprentices, fashion design to taught to students.

This is why the 21-year-old contestants of the FN Shoe Star are deficient in the matter of construction, because they have not accumulated enough time working with the materials before they were asked to turn their drawings into reality. Hands on experience is everything here. (This is also one reason why the young contestants on the Project Runway were so often able to make the beautiful clothing, they needed to master only cloth in its various guises, not cloth, leather, wood, and metal.)

And now, the true question of the week. Which six of the dozen applicants will be selected as the FN Shoe Star contestants? Who will go forward?

The Manolo believes that it will be Rachel, Matthew, Hyojin, LaQuonia, Nicole, and Christina.