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Trainers

Trainers BoardEver since I can remember, I’ve had an obscure fascination with trainers.  I’m not too sure how this came about or how it developed, but over the years, my interest (and not just purely from a “fashion” point of view) has become more involved and intense.  I can vividly track events in my life, not only at the time they happened, but strangely, by the trainers I owned at the time.

I wouldn’t necessarily say that my trainers defined me, but were more of a reflection of culture and my growing interest in the design world at a precise moment in time. For instance, there was the time I undertook my first ever 5K run at the age of 9.  I was wearing a pair of red suede hi-tops by ‘Pony’.  There was the time I won the national netball championships wearing a pair of ‘Reebok Classics’ with a rather nifty silver, glittered sole.  From a cultural point of view, the trainers I owned were a reflection of the times; new materials, new inventions, new styles.  A selection of these can be seen below. 

Reading this, you may be wondering how a fascination with trainers has a link to interior design.  The thing that I have realised over the last few years is that the interest does not reflect the footwear in principle, but rather the colours, patterns and textures that can be applied.  Again you still may be searching for the interior design link; bear with me.

From Converse, Nike and Toms, to Adidas, Onitsuka Tigers (by Asics) and Paul Smith, my collection has expanded and evolved.  The turning point in this interest came about when I first saw the collaboration between Nike and Harris Tweed (hand-woven pure wool, dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland).  The application of this famous material alongside something considered as sportswear almost instantly made me re-evaluate the purpose and use of this type of footwear.  They became more formal, more adaptable and more diverse.

At the point when the collaboration between Nike and Harris Tweed was announced, the famous Scottish weavers were on the verge of shutting all industry down as the future of this product was heavily threatened by changes in style and economic doubt.  In a change of fortune, Nike stepped in and ordered 10,000 metres of tweed to be used in their first run of the limited-edition products.  The products were so successful that they were selling out before they even reached the shelves.  Thousands more metres of tweed were ordered, therefore sealing the changing fortune of Harris Tweed and their revival back into production, something which is still going strong 11 years after their first collaboration was released.

Trainers

Nike’s interest in developing products in collaboration with high-end, luxury and prominent textile designers is still going strong.  Their first collection with Liberty (the famous London emporium, most commonly associated with their striking and intuitive fabrics and pattern designs) was first released in 2012.  This first collection saw quite a heavy floral base (typical of Liberty prints) being used to emphasise the collaboration.  Reflecting upon what has come since, this early collection seems quite ‘tropical’ in its presentation.

Trainers

Over the last couple of years, this collaboration has seen a more refined selection of patterns being showcased with the latest collection, released in April 2014, reflecting the delicate florals of the ‘Lora’ Liberty print; a design based on the William Morris ‘Willow’ pattern (designed in 1874), ‘Annosha’, a 1930s print featuring blossom and bell flowers, and ‘Crown’, a design based on paisley block prints found in Liberty’s Merton print works from the late 19th to early 20th century.

Trainers

We are beginning to see how adaptable trainers can be in terms of their materiality, but adaptability in this context doesn’t stop there.  Designers themselves are becoming more adaptable in how they work in industry, the types of projects they undertake and how new materials can help form concepts.  One of the most well-known of these adaptbale designers is Zaha Hadid. From architecture and product design, to furniture and lighting, Zaha encompasses the need for adaptable thinking and development.  This trait is characterised by her collaboration with Lacoste (below left) and later, her collaboration with Brazilian brand Melissa (below right).

These designs are typical of what we would normally associate with Hadid’s designs; organic, flexible and full of motion.

Trainers

The Lacoste project protype was launched in 2009, with production following shortly after. Hadid describes the footwear as an “evolution of dynamic grids [and when worn] these expand and contract to neotiate and adapt to the body ergonomically.  In doing so, a landscape emerges, undulating and radiating as it merges seamlessly with the body” (Dezeen, 2009). 

Looking over these footwear designs, we are seeing how designers are challenging a pre-conceived idea of what a particular ‘type’ of footwear should look like.  Whether this is being creative with surface pattern and texture, to how materials and ergonomics can make for a more sustained and flexible product, it seems that although we may not instantly create the link, interior design does play a large part in the fascinating world of footwear design.

Images courtesy of:

Asos (2013) Paul Smith Stripe [Online Image]. Available from: http://www.asos.com/Paul-Smith-Jeans/Paul-Smith-Jeans-Musa-Striped-Trainers/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=2004835&r=2 [Accessed 13/06/14].

Boot Room (2009) Converse Red Hi-top [Online Image]. Available from: http://www.bootroombristol.com/converse-hi-red-allstar [Accessed 10/06/14].

Brand Catcher (2010) Onitsuke Tiger Ultimate 81 [Online Image]. Available from: http://www.brand-catcher.com/en/onitsuka-tiger-ultimate-81-og-sneaker-grey-black/ [Accessed 10/06/14].

Dezeen (2008) Melissa Shoes [Online Image]. Available from: http://www.dezeen.com/2008/10/24/melissa-shoes-by-zaha-hadid-architects/ [Accessed 13/06/14].

Dezeen (2009) Lacoste [Online Image]. Available from: http://www.dezeen.com/2009/05/20/footwear-by-zaha-hadid-for-lacoste/ [Accessed 13/06/14].

Freshness Mag (2010) Nike Harris Tweed 1 [Online Image]. Available from: http://www.freshnessmag.com/2010/10/29/nike-wmns-air-royalty-mid-harris-tweed-edition-available-now/ [Accessed 13/06/14].

Nike (2014) Liberty Collection 2014 [Online Image]. Available from: [Accessed 13/06/14].

Nordfield (2013) Adidas Marathon 80 [Online Image]. Available from: http://nordfield.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/a-marathon-not-a-snickers-soz/ [Accessed 10/06/14].

Office (2012) Toms [Online Image]. Available from: http://www.office.co.uk/view/product/office_catalog/2,30/2787632442 [Accessed 13/06/14].

One League (2010) Nike Air Max 97 [Online Image]. Available from: http://nordfield.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/a-marathon-not-a-snickers-soz/ [Accessed 10/06/14].

Shoe Rack (2012) Converse Navy [Online Image]. Available from: http://1league.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/nike-air-max-97-o-g-metallic-silver/nike-air-max-97-metallic-silver/ [Accessed 10/06/14].

Willow Rose (2011) Liberty 1 [Online Image]. Available from: http://willowroseboutique.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/liberty-for-nike.html [Accessed 10/06/14].

Oscar neimeyer converse

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/architecture-design-blog/2012/nov/01/oscar-niemeyer-design-converse-political

Zaha Hadid –melissa

Melissa shoes by Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid – lacoste

Footwear by Zaha Hadid for Lacoste

images:

http://www.archdaily.com/22191/footwear-by-zaha-hadid-and-lacoste/

Onitsika Tigers – zodiac http://theawesomer.com/asics-onitsuka-60th-anniv/10090/

Adidas marathon 80 http://nordfield.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/a-marathon-not-a-snickers-soz/

Converse navy http://www.shoerack.ie/Product/converse-kids-all-star-navy-ox-laced/1134/2.2

Nike air max 97 http://1league.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/nike-air-max-97-o-g-metallic-silver/nike-air-max-97-metallic-silver/

converse red hi top http://www.bootroombristol.com/converse-hi-red-allstar

liberty nike 1 http://willowroseboutique.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/liberty-for-nike.html

liberty nike 2  http://www.nike.com/us/en_us/launch/c/2014-04/nike-x-liberty-collection

liberty nike 3 http://www.nike.com/us/en_us/launch/c/2014-04/nike-x-liberty-collection

liberty nike 4 http://www.nike.com/us/en_us/launch/c/2014-04/nike-x-liberty-collection

Nike harris tweed 1 http://www.freshnessmag.com/2010/10/29/nike-wmns-air-royalty-mid-harris-tweed-edition-available-now/

nike fly knit http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/pd/flyknit-trainer-unisex-running-shoe/pid-724317/pgid-582109

Paul smith stripe http://www.asos.com/Paul-Smith-Jeans/Paul-Smith-Jeans-Musa-Striped-Trainers/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=2004835&r=2

Onitsuka tiger red http://www.brand-catcher.com/en/onitsuka-tiger-ultimate-81-og-sneaker-grey-black/

jack Purcell http://www.unofficialjack.com/2012_07_01_archive.html

toms http://www.office.co.uk/view/product/office_catalog/2,30/2787632442

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Course Timeline

3rd September to 20th January

Introduction Week

Course Introduction

2 hour Live Online Introduction Session
Tuesday, 3rd September @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

Week 1

Unit 01: Fabric Selection & Colour Theory

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 10th September @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 13th September @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

Week 2

Unit 02: Estimation for Soft Furnishings

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 17th September @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 20th September @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

Week 3

Independent Study Break Week

Commencing Monday, 23rd September

Week 4

Unit 03: Window Treatments: Mitres, Hand-Stitching Techniques & Pattern Matching

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 1st October @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 4th October @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

Week 5

Unit 04: Lined & Interlined Curtain Construction

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 8th October @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 11th October @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

Week 6

Independent Study Break Week

Commencing Monday, 14th October

Week 7

Unit 05: Constructing Hand-Sewn Buckram Headers

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 22nd October @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 25th October @ 10am (UK Time) 1pm (Dubai Time)

Week 8

Unit 06: Constructing Piped Crescent Tie-Back & Piped Cushion

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 29th October @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 1st November @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

Week 9

Independent Study Break Week

Commencing Monday, 4th November

Week 10

Unit 07: Constructing a Roman Blind

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 12th November @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 15th November @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

Week 11

Independent Study Break Week

Commencing Monday, 18th November

Week 12

Unit 08: Constructing Padded Pelmets

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 26th November @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 29th November @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

Week 13

Unit 09: Constructing Swags & Tails (Swags)

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 3rd December @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 6th December @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

Week 14

Unit 09: Constructing Swags & Tails (Tails)

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 10th December @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
Friday, 13th December @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

Week 15

Unit 10: Setting-up a Curtain Making & Soft Furnishings Workroom

2.5 hour Live Online Tutorial
Tuesday, 17th December @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)

2.5 hour Live Q&A Session
*Thursday, 19th December @ 10am (UK Time) 2pm (Dubai Time)
*One day early due to office closure

Christmas Holidays

NDA Office Closed

20th December - 6th January

Week 16 & 17

Independent Study Break Week x2

Commencing Monday, 6th & 13th January

Week 18

Project hand-in

Monday, 20th January 2025

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