Last Friday I was lucky enough to attend the De Montfort University Footwear Degree Show where the third year students on the footwear course finish the course and present a final project in a group show.
I was invited by Kevin Guidford who runs the department and by one of the students, Danielle Cosgrove - thank you to you both
The footwear department at De Montfort has a really great programme where the students actually get their hands dirty and make shoes. It is very practical and less design led than many of the other courses here in the UK. Their making room is very impressive and is alive with creative energy. And they have an 85% employment rate which is excellent.
So on a wet and humid Friday evening I arrived in Leicester (pronounced less-ta) and made my way to the exhibition space.
There were around 30 students showing and it was a very varied offering, including ladies', men's and children's shoes. All themed in some way, the standard of work, both conceptually and physically, was very high.
Various prizes were given to star students and they presented by the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers, the shoemakers guild in London.
What impressed was the resources available to students from 3D printed sole and heel units to hand carved wooden ones. Particularly this lacquered sole by Danielle Cosgrove
And I loved this presentation, specially the title of the book, looks like a real bodice ripper!
While chatting to Kevin and Phil, another of the tutors, they confirmed that they had had the official approval for their new Masters in Bespoke Footwear and that the course will start in October. This is very exciting and we are in discussions to collaborate on the course in some way. It will be limited to 10 students and each one will be able to tailor the course content to satisfy the direction they want to go in - so it could be biomechanics, orthopedic or handsewn bespoke.
So watch this space for developments.
Until next week, happy shoemaking!