Coco Chanel was quoted as saying, “Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions.” Sarajevo design student Tea Petrovic seems to have taken Coco’s statement to heart; for her graduating project, Petrovic designed a startlingly original collection of shoes based on the designs of the greatly influential Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and the works of the late Russian Constructivist sculptor Naum Gabo. But Petrovic quotes another fashion designer in her statement, writing, “Bernard Figueroa once said: ‘There is so much space between a woman’s heel and the floor that one can use, and that is exactly what I tried to accomplish … using this space as much as possible.”
Discarding the fashion designer’s usual considerations of function and comfort, Petrovic focuses instead on the shoe as a pure geometric form, “rich in freedom and artistic expression”. She chose Gabo and Calatrava for their focus on figures “inspired mostly by nature, space, geometric shapes, and mathematical principles”.
The heel, specifically, is Petrovic’s focal point. To her, heels “are like supporting poles, constructive elements which carry the whole creative process”. Petrovic created the 3D heel shapes by multiplying, overlapping, and rotating 2D surfaces. The result is a series of exquisitely constructed sculptural works.
As of now, the shoes only exist as handmade prototypes — and were they ever to be mass produced, Petrovic advises us that they should be worn on the foot “as small pieces of art”. Until then, we’ll have to settle for admiring her design work in pictures, with an eye on her fledgling career in future original fashion.
By Nika Knight