Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 30 October 2009

Bergdorf Goodman Here We Come

Strange old world we live in. We are in Bergdorf Goodman in New York. In the Window display no less.
But hold on, it's not what you think. Check this. I have a good friend called Nelson who makes movies. He was the Production Designer for The Fantastic Mr Fox, the Wes Anderson stop animation version of the Roald Dahl book with George Clooney and Meryl Streep.
Anyway, there is a scene in the film where the animal protagonists are running down a street past a row of shops, one of which is a shoemakers. When they were designing the scene, the film makers came to the workshop to shoot some pics to inspire them. So they shot all our tools, my table, the lasts etc, and we thought nothing more of it.
At the beginning of the year, Nelson invited us to go to Three Mills Studios in Bow, to see the set. It was an amazing visit. An unimaginable level of detail. Think nerdy, obsessive model making children who have grown up and found themselves in modelers paradise. Over 200 people in a massive workshop making puppets; knitting tiny ties on tiny matchsticks; making minute fruits for a supermarket scene; hand painting each one; then doing it all over again, but smaller, for a longer shot; building whole landscapes from foam and twigs and dust; building complete towns for the puppets to move round in. It was mind-blowing and fascinating.
Apparently Wes Anderson refused to use any CGI, so the studio had to find physical solutions to all the scenes. It was a little wonderland. And the puppeteers are superstars in their field, traveling the world making these movies and earning fortunes. Who would have thought, eh?

Anyway, we were looking at the town set and Nelson said come look at this, and it was the shoemakers shop. And inside was our studio (more or less) reproduced in miniature. My table; all my tools; my famous red handled hammers; the lasts; everything! It was brilliant.

The movie premiered here and as a promotional tool, the film company sends the puppets and scenery to places around the world. And one of the places is Bergdorf Goodman on 5th Ave in New York, who have 9 of the scenes in their windows. One of them is the shoemakers shop. So by a very circuitous route, we are in Bergdorf Goodman. Ha ha, what a pip!

If any of you dear readers is in New York, we would really appreciate a picture. We will be there at Leffot on the 19th of November, but we don't know if the dispaly will still be there.

On a different tack, we had a visit from a student from the summer course, who has set up a studio in San Francisco to make shoes. Well done Brian, and great to see you. Good luck with it.
Another student from the same course is visiting next week after spending a couple of months with our friend Marcell at Koronya in Budapest, continuing his making education. It will be interesting to see how he got on.

That's it then for another week. Sorry no images this week, but I thought the movie story was fun.

Happy making!