Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Show Stoppers: DIY Gareth Pugh Runway Boots

Gareth Pugh inspired boots made by Boris, Balenciaga vest, Topshop top, Devaki hat, generic tights, Antti Asplund cross necklaces.

Ok, so this isn't a dictionary-definition DIY, since I didn't actually cobble these boots myself.  It should really be called a DIBB, as in Do-it-by-Boris.  Who is Boris?  Boris is the grizzled-looking bearded man who inhabits the crawl-space sized booth on St. Marks Place, which has no formal door, and is demarcated by a giant, filthy Barney stuffed animal, as well as piles upon piles of shoes.  He also happens to be a cobbler par-excellence, and in spite of his deceptively unglamorous surroundings, the man is a living legend in New York, flying to Tokyo twice a year to make shoes and jackets for the runway show of the Japanese line, Undercover.  Boris has inhabited that booth for as long as I can remember, and I first learned about him in 8th grade, when my friends had foot high rainbow raver platforms added to the soles of their Adidas sneakers.  That was over 12 years ago, and little has changed since in that booth, even though the rest of St. Marks has evolved and gentrified unspectacularly around it.


A couple of weeks ago, when I decided that I had to have the Gareth Pugh runway boots made, I knew immediately that I had to go down to pay a visit to Boris.  Bringing a couple of fuzzy stills from the film presentation, I was worried that my demands were too high, and my explanation too shoddy.  After a quick meeting, I was assured that all my requests were not only achievable, but easy.  This is how they did it (with a little of my guidance), all within 2 weeks, and for less than the cost of my new Margiela nail booties.


1.  I started by giving them some pictures of still from from Gareth Pugh's Fall 09 presentation.  Unfortunately, there aren't very many good detail shots available, so we had to use the silhouette shot for the general idea, and then imagine the rest according to how I wanted it to look.


2. For a base, I gave them a pair of old Steve Madden over-the knee boots that I bought 8 years ago, and haven't worn much since.  I was on the verge of getting rid of them before I decided to give them a new life.  This is what those beasts looked like before, set amidst the insanity that is Boris's store.


3. I asked Boris to add a 1 1/2" slanted platform sole to the existing flat sole, and to change the stiletto heal into something more similar to the upside-down conical heel of the Pugh boot.  I also asked him to add a removable 3" cuff to the ankle area of the boot.


4. Most importantly, Boris added 4" of leather to the thigh-high portion of the boot, copying the drastic angular silhouette of the Pugh boot.  To get the silhouette right, he made a cardboard model, which we adjusted in a fitting, and then used it as a stencil for the leather.

-Tiffany

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34 comments:

Chelsea said...

I need to find someone with the skills to transform shoes like this.

Alicia/InstantVintage said...

*jaw drops*

AMAZING!

camille said...

DAMN. those are fucking hot.

Amanda said...

i am so envious right now!! amazing. i have to think up something to have made by him....*mind wandering*

alex said...

girl, i just cant!

kelse said...

oh, jeez. wow! stunnin

Eli said...

this is pure genius! and beautiful

ERItheMERMAID said...

boris is my new best friend. i had gone in a few days ago and we talked about japan, weed, and gangsters for an hour!

M. said...

I love these, and what a great change to the old boot!

They turned out awsome, well done 8D

XX

Winnie said...

Wow, how lucky you have someone to make your dreams into reality! Awesome boots!

Kit said...

OMG that is soooo clever!!!


Kit

zana bayne said...

I AM DYING. CAN I SEND YOU BOOTS AND $$$ TO BRING TO BORIS???????

Laura. said...

wow!

how amazing are these babies!!!

http://aforteforfashion.blogspot.com

aandhblog said...

OH MY GOD THESE ARE ABSOLUTELY THE HOTTEST BOOTS IN THE WORLDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

-ava

http://www.aandhblog.wordpress.com

LuxiRare said...

!?@?!@>@#?>@!?@>#>@#?>?@#>
no words!!!!!

grace said...

jasldkjflskdjflksdjf YES!!!!!!!!!!!!

and OMG BORIS IS THE MOST AMAZING MAN EVER!! I CANNOT believe youve discovered him too! (I "borrowed" his name and address from my boss. respect)

Pammy said...

Boris is the absolute best. I'm amazingly jealous. I'm getting him to do a Ann Demeulemeester/ Minimarket wedge boot

MANFOX said...

amazing, i wish there was a boris living here in melbourne!! also love your vest

kim said...

wow! thats seriously impressive!
and i thought wanting to have my t-bar school shoes altered into lace ups (because i love them but aren't allowed to wear them as t-bars are banned) extreme-ish!

Kay said...

Those are amazing! Boris did a great job

Juliet said...

omgg thats beautiful!!! you achieved it so successfully!!! truly inspirational!


www.herinfluences.blogspot.com

"hi, i'm ginny branch and i love love." said...

SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i am seeking out boris! oh my gawd!

May Kasahara said...

he's fucking awesome.
I'm sending some shoes into my guy (alex) for some dye job transformations.

isn't it great living in new york. so much talent.

kirsty lee said...

shit those are incredible. he is a genius amongst men.

Susie Bubble said...

Genius....

indigotangerine said...

my god. that is some serious talent. now, where can i find my own boris...

burnthesebones said...

upon seeing this my heart seriously skipped a beat.
can't promise that i won't pay a visit to this Boris for my own pair of Pugh-esque boots in the near future...

laia. said...

this is fucking amazing.

mademoisellemode said...

How much did it cost to get him to do this transformation? The man is a GENIUS!

The Six Six Sick Girls said...

mademoisellemode:

The total transformation, including the cost of the materials- leather skins (it took a lot of extra leather), and platform sole, was $210. Not cheap, but for customized boots, not expensive either.

Everyone else thinking about going to Boris, make sure to mention that you heard about him here!!!

xxx,
Tiffany

anijnas said...

Mind blowing! Okay, so how doable is this right in my own house?(P)leather, scissors, wood and wood glue, some black paint? Voila?

battlingthedinosaurs said...

*SOB* This is so magical.

Alexandra Dawn Lauro said...

Whoa! I just found a link to your entry on this ebay listing...so awesome!! I totally want!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270812240707

Alexandra Dawn Lauro said...

Twas linked to your post from this ebay listing..i totally want these platformed prada protos! I never realized he did samples for designers as well..

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270812240707