As I walked in to the Donald J Pliner / Shopstyle event I noticed some empty boxes with stools and an expecting photographer. I has a little bit late that day. As the pink champage and canapes rolled out other bloggers rushed to try on the new and shiny Spring Collection. Having already stalked the brand endlessly before the event I stood there, champagne in hand, analyzing the large prints of Donald J Pliner´s latest campaign. Something about them reminded me of Rene Margritt´s Art. I was stuck to those images. (read more about their inspiration at the bottom of the post)
I don´t know if it was the floating elements or the cyan tones in the background, but something turned that setting into art. The shoes, be it haute high heels, wedges or flat sandals seamed epic. Whimsical. Alluring.
The setting was inspiring too: A white room surrounded by contrasting spring flowers and beautiful shoes. Both strategically scattered on tables and sofas. The windows looked down into New York City.
Did I mention we were IN the Empire State Building?
As I talked to one of the shoe designers and created my own version of floating shoes the footwear came alive.
Once more, I can tell you: Fashion is Art, and our lives are so much more fun for it. #ArtOfFun
I leave you with a bit more of their official Spring campaign and an insider´s look to the inspiration behind the brand:
INSIDER LOOK TO THE ART AND DESIGN
I recently had the opportunity to talk to Meryl and Silvano form Donald J Pliner and get some insight on the inspiration behind this campaign and some juicy details about their design process! So here it is, just for you guys:
Me: What is the inspiration behind the designs for Fall/Winter 2017 (a little preview…)
Silvano: The Fall collection is inspired by sculptural shapes. The inspiration in particular was the famous sculptor, Brancusi. I’ve always admired Brancusi’s ability to master feminine sculpture. For Fall, I was making it my mission to change up the constructions and shapes of the shoes with a more modern approach.
Me: LOVE Brancusi and love the brand´s focus on Art! I cant wait to see this collection! So, what is the design process (just briefly ie. Brainstorm, mood boards, sketch, model, produce)
Silvano: The very beginning of the process is about inspiration. We spend time researching fashion trends around the globe and we collect things that inspire us, from scenic images to specific colors or even shapes. The inspiration doesn’t always relate to the product, but when you look at everything you’ve pulled you start to see a pattern, or a story that tells your inspiration. This starts the conversation. Then we get together and analyze why are these images important and how they tell our inspirational story. Once we’ve specified a clear inspiration for the season we move on from visual to material.
We research a ton of new and different materials that are on trend, but still stick to the inspiration that we just created.
After all the research, we look at individual shoes. The silhouette, the shape of a heel, the construction of the shoe – this is when we start thinking about all the details of the shoes – from different finishes to final treatments.
The final step is to tell your inspirational story within smaller groups of collections that you designed based on all of your research to this point. For example, pairing the right embellishment with the right shoe so there are not multiple competing styles of the same story. Once we have this down, we edit the line to make it as strong and cohesive as possible.
Me: This sounds like a really fun process! It is about creating stories, bringing them to life with colors and shapes and then materializing them into shoes. I would LOVE to see your moodboards! So, tell me, What was the SS17 Campaign inspired by….
Meryl: The heritage of the Donald Pliner brand! For nearly 30 years, Donald Pliner has put quality craftsmanship, the art of the craft, at the forefront of design. Quality and comfort are synonymous with the brand, and the designs are whimsical and even a bit eccentric at times. The #ArtofFun is meant to embody the intersection of the technical art of the craft, as well as the fun, whimsical designs that the brand has become known for.
Me: And what about the advertising campaign; all those floating shoes?! . . .
Meryl: For SS 2017, Donald J Pliner introduces the #ArtOfFun. This new campaign exemplifies the spirit of the brand through fun and playful images that capture the bold, unique and stylish nature of the shoes and – most importantly – the people that choose to wear them. By offering the opportunity to replicate images from the SS17 campaign at the Donald Pliner + ShopStyle event, attendees could bring their own nuance to the table and show off the best of Donald J Pliner SS 2017 in their own, unique and distinct way.
Thank you Meryl! Can´t wait to see the Fall collection!