Interview with shoe designer Camilla Skovgaard

Interview with shoe designer Camilla Skovgaard.

Unconventional shaping inspired by architectural trends.

Camilla Skovgaard’s bold, innovative, and instantly recognizable footwear is the product of a personal passion of the introvert and the alternative. Her pieces explore the subversive whilst straddling the lines between elegance and brutality.   

Skovgaard found success directly out of London’s Royal College of Art, when, in 2006, while still enrolled as a student, Saks Fifth Avenue placed an order from her first collection. She was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth Scholar Award for Excellence in British Craftsmanship in 2007 and nominated for Accessories Designer of the Year at the 2010 British Fashion Awards. Her work has been embraced by the world’s most influential fashion editors, as well as celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Charlize Theron, and Kristen Stewart.

Dismissing embellishment, Skovgaard places emphasis on ergonomics, looking at form, fabrication and style. This DNA is inherent throughout the AW13 collection and is responsible for the structural point of view. Unconventional shaping with architecturally inspired treads is at the fore.

The Camilla Skovgaard woman has an eye for considered pared down detailing and look to her for intellectual sophistication. Skovgaard’s affinity with eroticism, architecture and classism encapsulates timelessness and in turn creates pieces that do not adhere to standard influences of a season.

Camilla Skovgaard Portrait

Camilla Skovgaard Portrait

Camilla’s admiration of worldly design classics and sinister gothic landscapes are crucial inspirations in her design. Shaping signature styles like the innovative saw sole and the austere elegant stilettos characterize reference points that are core to each collection’s handwriting.

Camilla‘s designs will be on display from the 11th until the 29th September at Westfield Shopping Centre London as part of a pop up exhibition from Northampton Museum and Art Gallery’s shoe collection. Camilla has chosen a vintage shoe from the Northampton Museums and Art Gallery archive which is displayed alongside a shoe from her current collection.

The interview below with Camilla was conducted by Ellen Sampson, Cinderella project Curator. For more information on the ground breaking Cinderella project go to http://www.northampton.gov.uk/thecinderellasyndrome

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 Where do you design and what is your workspace like?  

 I work between Dubai and London so have offices set up in both locations.  Both spaces are kept minimal without a lot of clutter.

My personal workspace is that of a nomad-mobile.

I like it tight and concise-no flutter, prefer to have it all in 3 files with me when I travel-one for design/leathers, one for factory and one for the most current company admin.

 How does your design process work?  

I often start with an idea from a doodle or line-I tend to start off with tiny drawings on post-it notes! I start with linear drawings that eventually turn into a distinct form.

What inspires you when you design?  

It can be anything from a line I see, to a style or mood or just things that come together when I’m at the factory.  It’s all very organic.

Describe the historic shoe you picked, what do you like about it?  

The shoe I selected has a more linear feel and the metallic leather reminded me of the bold heelless wedge from my recent Spring/Summer 2013 collection.

Of all the 1920’s and 30’s shoes in Northampton Museum and Art Gallery Shoe collection the shape and metallic straps of this one resonated most closely with my linear style.

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