Textile Design:Salvatore Ferragamo and Vivienne Westwood their influence on the shoe

Essay by ernm February 2004

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When the shoe was invented it's purpose was to protect the foot but it is now more of a fashion accessory. It has evolved and changed with the help of the designers. On analysing the work of the contemporary post-modernism designer Vivienne Westwood ( 1941 - ) and the more traditional art deco designer Salvatore Ferragamo ( 1898 - 1960 ) I have found that they have both influenced shoe designs in their own particular ways. I have focused on a variety of Westwood's designs from late 1980's to early 90's and Ferragamo's designs from 1935 - 1947. Both designers have made eccentric and notable impacts by the style , use of materials , shape and colour used in the making of their shoes.

Vivienne Westwood was born in Derbyshire , England in 1941. She began an immense career in fashion by designing and selling jewellery from a street market in London.

By 1971 she had opened a clothes shop with Malcolm Mc Laren which originally sold second-hand clothes from the 1950's but soon started selling 'punk' clothes. Influenced mainly by the punk movement Westwood and Mc Laren began managing the famous punk band the 'Sex Pistols' in the seventies. Inspired by the rebellion of youths and street fashion her designs have a unique perspective. In 1992 Westwood was honoured with an OBE and even to this day she continues to create outrageous designs.

One of Westwood's most outrageous designs is her 'Spiked Platform Heels' ( 1993 - 94 ). It has been designed using the theme of bondage. The shoe is made with green and white velvet which connects in elegant wavy lines. There is a long slim green velvet strip which wraps around the leg. With an elegant golden glow the heel shines up and down the narrow...