Austrian footwear designer Carolin Holzhuber got acquainted with the craft of shoemaking during her BA Fashion in Vienna. In her first term she was offered a variety of workshops, including shoemaking. It was during that workshop that Carolin fell in love with the craft of shoemaking by hand and the intriguing properties of leather. At that moment she also realised that she was destined to design and make shoes instead of clothes.
After finishing her education at the Fashion Institute, Carolin moved to London and worked as an intern for appealing shoe brands Atalanta Weller and FINSK. Working there confirmed her idea that she would like to establish her own footwear label. She decided to apply for the MA Fashion Footwear course in London to improve her handicraft skills. Not only did she learn a lot about the ‘anatomy’ of shoes but also how to push boundaries in order to create new, innovative products using unconventional materials like carbon fibre.
Her MA collection – Conjoined Illusion – is based on conjoined twins and the visual themes of reflection, mirror and optical illusion. Trompe l’oeil effects and reflections are difficult for the human brain to comprehend. Cognitive ability is put to the test. If objects are being observed from different perspectives they seem to change shape, though they are still the same. The Conjoined Illusion collection is a perfect example of sculptural shoes that still can be recognised and used as footwear.
Photo 2 – photograph by Isabelle von Spreckelsen
Photo 3, 4 – photograph by Britta Burger