When we were first looking through the Fall/Winter Runway shows back in February, I spotted these WHOA boots in the Givenchy show. They're making quite the splash now that it's actually fall/winter soon... and for some strange reason, one day I just started making them. I didn't think it through or anything, I just went from sitting there thinking about my old shoes that I wore once for my best friends' wedding to cutting up pieces of leather to cover them with. Surely, this project is only for people who are completely insane so I opted for showing you my process instead of instructing you on how to do the same. So here begins my show-and-tell on how I made these ridic Givenchy column boots:
Here they are on the Givenchy FW2012 RTW runway. Photos from style.com
I started with:
- a pair of wedge pumps. You can use any shoes or booties that you want to cover
- some large leather pieces (mine were from a deconstructed pair of vintage leather pants)
- some measuring tape
- fabric scissors
- goop glue (not shown)
- a sewing machine (not shown)
Start with taking some measurements of your legs. I measured the circumference at the top of my calf (12.5"), the circumference at the bend of the foot (16" not including the toe) and then the total length (18").
Then I cut a large quadrilateral shape with a height of 18", base of 16", top 12.5".
Then I sewed the piece (face to face) lengthwise to make the shaft of the boot.
Next I made the large tongue that covers the knee. I cut four equal rectangles with rounded corners. I sewed them together in pairs and then sewed each one to the top of the shafts.
After that, I had completed the basic shafts for the boots and just needed to add details.
The actual boots don't seem to have buckles at the top, but I copied the strip of leather on the original boot and added the buckle as a practical feature; since my leather was a bit softer than the boot leather, I needed the buckles to actually keep the boots up! I cut two equal strips of leather and attached each to the metal buckles. The strips were just a few inches longer than the top of the boot shaft.
Then, I carefully pinned each strap to the boot shaft making sure they were an even distance from the top of the boot all the way around.
Then using two straight stitches all the way around, I attached the buckle straps to the boot shafts.
Using a leather punch, I punched even holes on both the straps.
I also added little belt loops to hold onto the flappy straps.
Next, I decided to cover the toe cap with a suede finish (I spotted a couple of pairs on the runway with ponyhair toe caps and some that had suede vs leather combos). I just took a square of leather and started just trimming until the shape was about right.
To make sure the leather would sit tight, I flipped the leather piece over and pinned it along the toe.
I sewed right along the pinned line and then trimmed off the excess
Then I sewed a top stitch along the top edge so that the boot would have a sewn look even though I would eventually be gluing these parts together.
I stretched the leather over the shoe again and trimmed the bottom edge
Starting with just the tip of the toe, I spread on some goop glue and then quickly pressed on the top cap cover.
Then lifting the edges of the cover, I slowly applied a little more glue and pressed down the rest.
There! That's what the toe caps looked like covered with suede :)
So then we've got a completed boot shaft and a covered toe cap!
I tested by pulling the shaft over the shoe... and then trimmed the part of the shaft that the toe needed to poke out of.
Then taking the boot shaft, I started by gluing it on a part of the back of the heel and then also at the side of the shoe.
Finally, I grabbed the flappy tongue on the toe cap and glued it to the boot shaft (see why I top stitched it? :) )
And there it is! My version of the Givenchy fw2012 boot!
In the end, I'm glad that I got to rework a pair of shoes that I never wear-- but I'm still not 100% sure about how I feel about the look of them. They're a bit softer than the leather on the actual boots so I'm looking into how to harden leather with some waxing techniques. Other than that I think it might take a few outfit tries before I think they actually look "couture" on me & not like I stepped out of the game "Space Channel 5". So what do you guys think? Anyone crazy enough to try this themselves? Anyone saving up the $1600 for the real thing? And should I show my face at the Lincoln Center wearing my knockoffs?!