Les chaussures d’Antoine

Antoine1What, these old things? Oh, you know, just some shoes I made, no big deal…


Antoine5The first assignment of the schoolyear was to make a pair of men’s shoes. Since I was less than thrilled at the idea of spending so much time on my first pair of shoes and then having to give it away to a [shudder] man, my first question was “can I make those men’s shoes my size?”. And the answer was yes, woohoo!

Antoine6We were asked to take inspiration from a couple (real or fictional) for this first pair of men’s shoes and a second pair of women’s shoes to come. My choice of inspiration was the couple formed by Antoine Doinel and Christine Darbon in Stolen Kisses, Bed and Board and Love on the Run.

So these are Antoine’s shoes: I wanted them to reflect his very classical 1960s/1970s sartorial style, which is why I chose this very conventional colour of leather and kept things very simple regarding ornementation.

Antoine4I didn’t think to calculate the number of hours it took me to complete this first pair of shoes, all I can tell you is it was a very long process with about a billion steps. I also know I messed up a lot of things (fortunately none of them too tragic), the worse of them being choosing a too thin leather for the lining, so brittle that it wouldn’t stop tearing when I was trying to last it. The bright side is, now I know what to check for when buying leather for my next shoes!


Is it lame that my favourite part is the “real leather” stamp on the insole?

On another bright side, none of my mistakes were unredeemable, and I MADE SHOES!

I was VERY proud to wear them for the first time last Wednesday and I had to refrain from telling everyone I met that I was wearing shoes I made myself!

Antoine2I’m probably not the least bit objective, but I feel like they go with everything. And they didn’t even fall apart when I wore them! 😀 The fit of the left foot is perfect, and the only problem of the right one is that I have a hammer toe on the right foot that has a tendency to rub against some shoes, which can sometimes become uncomfortable. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to adjust that in future shoes I make?

Phew, I’m already exhausted even thinking about starting the next pair!

49 thoughts on “Les chaussures d’Antoine

  1. Oh my gosh, YOU MADE SHOES!! That’s amazing! They look fantastic. Where are you learning to make them? I can’t even imagine making shoes. The sky would be the limit once you got the hang of it. Ohhhh dangerous 🙂

    • Yes, I MADE SHOES!!! I’ve been learning to make them in evening classes here in Brussels, at the same school where I’m learning to make hats. I’m still far from totally getting the hang of it though!

  2. they are gorgeous! and how freaking fabulous is that you can make your own shoes! i always dreamt of beind able to make shoes for myself, but i don’t think that would even happen

    • Oh, don’t be fooled, they don’t look that professional if you know what to look for! But it’s still true that you can’t really guess I made them when you see them on my feet. 🙂

  3. That is so amazing! How long have you been doing this? I’m in my first year of shoemaking in Lokeren and so far I’ve managed to make a pair of sandals good enough to wear for cleaning and one single richelieu type shoe I should start lasting next week (it’s made from scraps so it’s smurf blue, haha). This just got me very motivated!

    • This is my second year. Wow, you’re lucky to already have made a pair of sandals! Last year we only made single shoes, not that motivating! Hahaha, I can imagine your smurf blue richelieu! My first shoe ever was also made from scraps: it was this awful burgundy ballet falt!

  4. Pinaise de pinaise!!! Ça y est!!! Elles sont terminées ET tu as trouvé des lacets à la bonne taille!!! Waoooooooooow!!!! Ben je me répète mais je trouve ça tellement impressionnant de fabriquer soi-même une paire de chaussures qu’en les voyant en photo je suis restée bouche-bée!!! Bravo! Bravo!! Tu as mon admiration éternelle! J’ai hâte de les voir en vrai! Hi hi hi Et maintenant que tu es une pro, tu prends les commandes???!! 😀

    • Ouiii, j’ai trouvé des lacets à la bonne taille… chez le cordonnier! Simple mais il fallait y penser! 😀
      Tu ne devrais pas trop tarder à les voir en vrai! 😉
      Et pour les commandes, malheureusement ma cliente principale et préférée, Madame Moi-Même, m’a déjà passé assez de commandes pour remplir une vie entière! 😀

  5. This is amazing! They’re gorgeous, and what a fantastic thing to have made for yourself! What method of construction did you use? Those classes sound really wonderful.

  6. Waouuu mais elles sont vraiment superbes! super pro, et quand tu dis last wednesday, tu veux dire mercredi ce mercredi où on s’est vue? j’enrage de ne jamais regarder les pieds des gens c’est scandaleux. En plus t’as fait une allusion et je suis restée aveugle. J’ai honte, j’aurais voulu voir en vrai. A très vite!

    • It’s an evening class that’s supposed to be aimed at people who want to change career and become shoe makers… but I don’t think that anyone in the class actually wants to make a living out of it (not really sure, though)…
      Oh, and thank you! 🙂

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