Julia Skergeth - Turning Heels Wherever She Goes

A Pair of Stilettos made from Pistachio Nuts and Coffee Beans - thats Julia Skergeth!

A Kingston University fashion student has turned the traditional high heel on its head for her sustainable project that was shown at London Fashion Week’s largest independent showcase, Vauxhall Fashion Scout.

Challenged to be sustainable and use bio-renewable materials to create luxury fashion, Julia Skergeth – who is originally from Salzburg in Austria – came up with the idea of using rice as her alternative ‘bling’. Recreating the intricate shapes of crystals and diamonds on her new design, she pushed the concept one step further, however, by switching the position of the heel and toe.

Using a combination of bio-resin and hemp, Julia’s design caught the eye of InCrops – a leading company that drives the commercialisation of bio-renewable materials – who had set the challenge to Kingston University fashion students. They said they hoped the work would inspire designers around the world to use bio-based renewable materials in luxury goods as well as everyday products.

Kingston University fashion lecturer Joanna Norman said Julia’s designs had shown how bio-materials and waste could be transformed into covetable items. “Julia has experimented during the past year with pistachio shells and coffee beans on shoes, but her rice and bio-resin design has created a truly intricate and sustainable fashion statement,” Ms Norman said.

Several new ideas have flourished this year as a result of the collaboration with InCrops, she added. Another student, Jen Hope, had taken scrap patent leather and, using laser engraving technology, created intricate patterns to reveal a multi-layered effect that imitates the look of pottery and lacquered wood. She has also experimented with vegetan, a vegetable-tanned leather, and second-hand denim to make a bag. Elizabeth Gilbey, meanwhile, was inspired by digital draping – a form of virtual pattern-cutting in which designs are digitally projected on to the human form – and has recreated the look of lace using organic yarns, bamboo, Tencel and jersey for her womenswear designs.

Congratulations are in order for all students who took part in the Kingston University sustainable challenge. You definitely blew our socks off.

If you’d like to find out more about any of the work, give Lis a call on 020 8417 3034 or email press@kingston.ac.uk.


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