A UK footwear designer Ross Barber presented his latest collection at the Graduate Expo of London College of Fashion. His collection, “A Wrong Mongrel”, is a collection of eight leather boots designed for men; and the project looks into the development of “hybridism” — a combination of traditional hand shoemaking skills and the latest 3D printing techniques. The autumn & winter collection presents contemporary iconic design solutions balancing both conceptual & commercial designs.
The idea behind the “A Wrong Mongrel” collection is to discard the conventional design process in favour of an approach guided by technique. From a functional object, the 3D printed nylon “tendril” becomes an aesthetic decoration. The material that envelops Barber’s shoes is composed of nylon and is made using 3D printers. According to Barber, the cost of the material and the process is not sustainable for a commercial prototype, therefore it is presented as an experimental project.
With this fusion experiment, Barber wants to show the metamorphosis that occurs in the design process, in which each of the eight “Metamorphosis” soles represents a different stage of the mutation.
As Barber describes, his work resembles an acute acne breakout rising on the skin, engulfing and dominating it like a weed. To us it suggests not only the function which is not strictly decorative or the decadent effect of a vine, but also the ability to favour acoustic and thermal isolation.