A Bespoke Interpretation of Hat Shoe for Elsa Schiaparelli by Caroline Groves
Bespoke women’s shoemaker Caroline Groves exhibits a shoe inspired by and made for Elsa Schiaparelli, as an expression of the narrative of their 'meeting' at the Beaumont.
Schiaparelli originally collaborated with Dali to create her iconic Shoe Hat and now with Caroline to create a hat-inspired shoe.
The installation brings to life the world of a travelling craftswoman. In her kit bag Caroline carries her ledger for recording client details along with measuring tapes, a sample last and leather colour swatches.
Caroline, a cordwainer, began her career 30 years ago, establishing her own business in 2003. Caroline is involved in every process herself, from client meeting and consultation through to design, patternmaking, leather craftsmanship and traditional shoemaking techniques. Leather and its inherent qualities have always been a passion for Caroline and she sees the shoe as the ultimate expression of the leatherworker’s craft.
Caroline’s work is said to cross the boundaries between craftsmanship, fashion, art and fantasy, as she so beautifully articulated in the Shoes: Pleasure and Pain exhibition at the V&A, where her iconic turquoise parakeet shoes sat alongside the work of Manolo Blahnik.
Caroline's display offers a rare glimpse into the life of one of Britain's most celebrated craftswomen