New shoe design – The “Elegance” Stilettos!

6 years, 1 month ago 58
Posted in: Doll Accessories

I made another shoe design for Enchanted Dolls. They are a hybrid of a classical pencil heel Stiletto and an iconic Mary Jane with an arch strap. I shall call them The Elegance! They are now available for pre-order in sterling silver at $395 CAD. But let me tell you a little bit more about my process first.

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I’ve never attempted this high-rise, low-cut shoe design before, because my dolls’ feet do not bend at the toes and can not conform to the contorted nature of pumps. Although I do have an alternate, bent-at-the-toes pair of feet, I don’t like them much and choose to work with natural, flat feet instead. This demands that I design all my shoes, including high heels, for absolutely flat feet. This can be tricky, as I have to ‘hide’ the unbent toes somewhere to create the optical illusion that they are bent.

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In the past I used tall platform shoes to create this illusion, which tended to limit my shoe designs somewhat, because low-cut shoes like these pencil stilettos have no platform to ‘hide’ or ‘drop’ the toes in to give the illusion of a bent foot. But no more! I decided to embrace the straight toes and incorporate them into all my shoe designs from now on. No more hiding them!

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Now, I understand this is a little bit unorthodox and can seem awkward at first, but no more awkward in my opinion, than the regular pumps that contort our feet into brutally uncomfortable positions for the sake of sex appeal.

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So, once I let go of the standard notion that toes have to be bent or hidden to fit into shoes, it liberated me to create something this dainty and low cut to expose as much of the lovely porcelain foot as I can.

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The colourful arch strap meanwhile, is a personal favourite of mine and a staple feature of all Enchanted Doll shoes. I think it adds a certain warmth and coyness of Mary Janes to the cold beauty of precious metals.

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And now that I’ve divorced myself from the idea of hiding my dolls’ toes, I wonder what shoe I’m gonna make next. The possibilities are exciting.

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What do you guys thin of the straight down, exposed toe style? Like it? Hate it? Tell me.

58 Responses

  1. Anthony says:

    I LOVE IT!!!! I think they are very different yet still so very Enchanted Doll. I adore this design too. When I first saw it I thought for sure they were made for high heeled feet, but now that I see the flat feet in them I am kind of really digging them. These are the shoes being offered with the auction Cinderella right? GORG!!!! Gorgeous I say!!!! <3

  2. Iki says:

    I love the shoe design!, but it is pretty uncomfortable to see, maybe i just have to get used to the new shoe and the exposed toes.

  3. Bertha says:

    Beautiful design gorgeous shoes ! Very glad that they can be pre-ordered.

  4. Tiina says:

    I love the shoes, but i prefer if those toes are hidden. Maybe the blue ruffle with the brooch?

    • Pixelskaya says:

      That would be such a great idea! I love the design of these shoes, but I’d still be uncomfortable with the exposed toes.
      I actually loved your bent-at-the-toes feet, Marina; they were so lovingly sculpted, I’d love to see more of them :)

  5. Bibarina says:

    I love it! Wish I could wear my shoes like this! I like the fact that the beautiful detail in the toe is not lost by wearing the shoes. It will take a little time to get used to the idea but I think it’s a good one!

  6. Sabrina says:

    I think the shoes are beautiful, but I think the appear uncomfortable, mainly because of (ironically) a flat shoe style from the 80’s where most of the toes were exposed! I still remember that style and the shoes I wore then.

  7. Annina says:

    I think it takes a little getting used to to see the toes while in the shoe, though I think the shoe is just so pretty and dainty.
    It’s so weird because in my own life, I’m not much of a shoes person, I don’t own any high heels, because I have flat feet so most feminine shoes just don’t fit me, and I just find them too uncomfortable. But on your dolls, I’ve come to like pretty high heels and admire that shape.

    I think these shoes are the prettiest you have made to date, but I’m still a huge fan of the Extravagance stilettos and the Persian Slippers, those two are still my faves!

  8. Merri says:

    Rather than a functional shoe, I see them as purely an ornament for the foot and as such, they are very pretty! :)

  9. Carolyn says:

    I love the look of the shoe, but I agree with others who say they don’t like the exposed toes.

  10. Anelise says:

    They are extremely pretty, will you have enameled versions as well?
    During the preorder- can we buy other shoes as well?

  11. Sonia Anne says:

    I like this nice new look!

  12. schizandra says:

    I think it makes her look like she’s floating somewhat. I like it, though I’d love to see a full body photo of an Enchanted Doll wearing the new shoes to get the full picture!

  13. Crystal says:

    I really don’t care for it. The shoes are gorgeous, but I don’t like seeing all those toes. That’s just me.

  14. Ida Murray says:

    It looks ill fitted and totally without grace. While I like a bit of “toe cleavage” showing, exposing the entire foot make sit look like the shoe doesn’t fit.
    I’ve been a longtime ED fan and I never thought I would dislike one of your designs, but I’m sorry to say that I don’t like this shoe design.

  15. marina says:

    As we say in Canada : Whatever floats your canoe, Ida. Thanks for sharing your opinion, and every one else too. Thanks for the feedback, guys.

  16. Chad says:

    I’ve never heard anyone in Canada say that…

    • Marina says:

      I guess you and I have been moving in different circles the last 14 years we’ve been together, dear. Perhaps you’re just not Canadian enough. You’ll be hearing it a lot from now on.

  17. JugendMoth says:

    Love the shoes, beautiful as always! ..but not how its looks on doll. Sorry. Toes need to be hidden.

  18. Merri says:

    Marina, I actually loved the raised feet you previewed some time ago. If they could be interchanged (as in the case of Echo and her bound feet) a shoe such as ‘Elegance’ on those feet would be a match made in heaven.

  19. Sharon Wensley says:

    I love the look of the shoes, just not on these feet. It doesn’t look like they fit and therefore does not look realistic. I have the high heel shoes that are chunky (can’t remember what you call them) and they have a little toe showing and that is perfect to me. I also have a feeling these shoes may not stay on well. This is just my opinion and since Marina asked what we thought, I have spoken. Since I am from Canada, I guess I am floating in my canoe.

    • Marina says:

      Thanks Shannon.

      Aesthetics and personal preferences aside though, these shoes stay on the doll’s feet as well as any other of my shoe designs. No difference in functionality whatsoever, because the big toe still anchors inside the toe box, providing a snug fit. So, while your opinion on the look of the shoes is a personal bias which can not be either right or wrong, your “…feeling that these shoes may not stay on well”, is incorrect.

      I don’t make dysfunctional stuff. Dysfunctional stuff bothers me.

  20. Sonia Anne says:

    Chad, your’e too funny! People in Canada usually say ” whatever slaps you in the face “. I have never heard, whatever floats your canoe, but that’s funny too! I’m going to start saying that! LOL!

    • Jill Jackson says:


      In the US we say “Whatever floats your boat.” Very similar to the “canoe” saying.

      I love seeing all of the dolls toes. They are so beautifully painted & while I love Marina’s elegant shoes, it does seem a shame to cover the toes. These may not be very practical (if the doll must walk long distances :o) but are intended, I think, to be more ornamental and indicative of high status, I think they work beautifully.

  21. Clare Gaylard says:

    The shock of the new. To see them on one or two entire figures, posed gracefully would both make sense of the innovation and make immediate argument for the artist’s aesthetic.

  22. Miriam says:

    I don’t know if this would be possible with the very delicate fronts of the shoe, but I wonder if perhaps the heel itself was a little shorter and the angle of the shoe a little less steep, so that a little more of the toe was in the box, if it would work? I think it’s seeing the nail on most of the toe that is not my particular aesthetic. I wouldn’t mind seeing a generous amount of the toe length if the part with the nail was in the shoe, just because that would look more realistic? Just a thought, it might be impossible just because the toes aren’t bent (which I love about ED.)

    The shoes themselves are gorgeous as is the subtle shading on the feet. I don’t know that I’d ever taken enough time to appreciate the feet of your dolls before. I also love the Mary Jane straps on all your shoes, I absolutely agree that they complement the cold look of the metal just perfectly, without making them look any less exquisite.

    Thank you, Marina, for always sharing your experiments and new techniques or ideas with us!

    • Marina says:

      Yes, it would work, Miriam, but then it would be a completely different looking shoe. It would not look like this, and I wanted it specifically to look like this. Give and take, as usual.

  23. Patricia says:

    Beautiful shoes but they look like they are on the wrong doll’s feet. They appear out of proportion to the doll’s feet – like a child trying on her mother’s shoes. That theme is rather interesting if that is what you’re going for. I am afraid I don’t like the look.

  24. Violet says:

    How about a pair of ED sandals? :)
    You would be able to flaunt as much of the doll’s beautifully painted toes as you wish and the flat foot would still appear natural. Not only that but sandals = straps. Straps galore, Marina!

  25. marina says:

    Yeah, I can’t say that I’m big sandal fan though. Never liked them much on humans and less so on dolls.

    1) I don’t believe that on a small scale multiple straps would look very elegant.
    2) Making doll shoes is as much of an exciting exercise in sculpture for me, as it is about making pretty footwear for my dolls. It’s its own art form for its own sake; it just happens to conveniently correlate with my passion for doll-making. I simply love sculpting tiny objects and if you take that away (and replace it with sandal straps), it defeats the whole point.

    Having said this, I do find perforated Italian leather sandals with a closed toe box (like my Hopscotch shoes), to be rather agreeable.

  26. luis G says:

    querida marina

    e seguido tus muñecas desde hace mucho tiempo ya, y debo decir que a sido un placer conocerte a ti y las enchanted doll, y siempre me sorprendes con tus nuevas creaciones, estos nuevos zapatos, y creo que la forma es muy encantadora y elegante, creo que la forma le va muy bien, deja un poco a la vista la belleza de los pies, pero sin perder de vista los zapatos.

    gracias marina, por todo…

  27. Carolyn F says:

    Personally i don’t like them – i think they look silly, but we are talking about silver shoes on a rigid porcelain foot, so it ain’t ever going to be easy to please all of the people all of the time.

  28. DeeDee says:

    The foot and toes are beautiful, and is so the shoe, but together they look incongruous– nonsensical, even. No harmony when looking at the whole from the front. I’m surprised that this is pleasing to you, Marina.

  29. Caroline says:

    LOVE THEM! I think they are so HOT with the toes showing. I really love the shape of the shoes and the toe cleavage is very fashion forward. I think this looks awesome. I am pretty sure I have seen this on the runway. Can the shoes be ordered in the ombre pink to white enamel and come with a resin doll attached? I am down for the pre-order if I could have a doll to put them on (smiling sweetly).

    But really, these are great and very, very cool.

    • Marina says:

      I haven’t tested how these shoes enamel yet. The scrolling patterns may be too fine to compliment the enamel well. If my tests produce successful results, you’ll be seeing it on my blog.

    • Arielle says:

      hot? fashion forward? whatever floats your boat i suppose.

  30. sarah e says:

    The exposed toes look very vulnerable, which actually does fit in with why I love the ED aesthetic. Also if the shoes covered the toes, I would worry they would damage the delicate paint on the toes.

    At first I found them to be somewhat alarming, but upon further reflection- I actually like now naked and vulnerable yet ornamented they make the feet look. It does actually suit the aesthetic of these dolls

    I say go with the exposed toe look. It totally works.

  31. luis G says:

    I think the elegance of the shoe and the foot of porcelain make a good set without losing sight of the beauty of each other, I think it is certainly a good choice, in fact it could be the shoes of a princess of a culture and a world.

    Marina thanks for every day surprise

  32. luis G says:

    I think belong to the realm enchanted doll

  33. Arielle says:

    eh, the exposed toes looks pretty awkward. not a fan. thought it was a mistake till reading your comment asking what we thought about it. sorry.

  34. Fran says:

    I can understand Marina creating a shoe which holds and exposes the foot in this way. She is an artist and therefore anything goes. However I think the reason why it doesn’t seem to work for me is that this new look is matched with a convention looking show. Therefore the eye automatically thinks, knowing that these shoes aren’t supposed to make feet look like that, that’s its wrong. I do wonder if, keeping the way you can see the whole foot, people might have seen it as a design choice more clearly if the shoe looked non-convention too. A new design of shoe to fit a new way of holding the foot?

    • DeeDee says:

      Exactly. You can’t take a classic shoe, make it look ill fitting, and claim inventiveness. The stiletto shoe style itself was pushing the envelope when it first debuted(if not kicked off, ha) and its look already perfected. Extreme toe cleavage necessitates something different.

  35. Caroline says:

    Women from all cultures have set rules on how to dress properly and most western women are repulsed by excessive toe cleavage even when fashion designers use it.

    There is an association with feet and toes to sexual perversion – foot fetish, for example, which is not considered to be a perversion in many other cultures. In the Rococo hedonism paintings, women depicted with bare feet were a symbol of the sexual libertine. In biblical paintings, God is the only one depicted with bare feet and this is symbolic of his connection to man, while the Virgin Mary has feet that are covered and wrapped in her robes to connote her association to God. We have these notions of how we can expose our toes: sandals are fine; a pump that shows toe cleavage? Fashion designers knowing the history and language of fashion are often pushing the limits of our conventionality by doing the thing we find most shocking – toe cleavage, topless dresses and the “absurd.” Hindu women adorn their feet with jewelry and have no such conventions about toes.

    Marina’s photos focus on the feet, in this post, and she did not take a full picture of the doll and I think this was purposeful. It makes the feet appear divine and the shoes (jewelry) – the ornamentation together are like an inverted crown thus highlighting a narrative in Marina’s work: the power of women ; the power of their sexuality, intelligence and beauty and sometimes the subsequent persecution that follows. Artists are intuitive, gathering symbols from the past and present and from other cultures to convey their stories in rich symbolic language. It is typical for artists not to follow rules or convention – thankfully. I think this is a beautiful and poignant illustration of her ongoing themes. This is art – not a barbie doll.

  36. Lily says:

    I think one could make a rather interesting narative with this.

  37. Crystal says:

    Waiting to see the new doll going up for auction!!!! Please show us a little teaser, or something!

  38. Crystal says:

    Where’s Cinderella???

  39. Crystal says:

    I’m waiting to get totally blown away!!!!!!!

  40. Amparo Pecina-Collins says:


  41. MigMig says:

    Since you asked, Marina, I love the shoes and I absolutely adore your dolls, but I do not like the look of these shoes on your doll’s feet. Looks like her feet hang inside the shoe. Maybe a photo of differently posed doll would make a different impression, but at this stage the concept doesn’t float my canoe (or maybe I should say “doesn’t fly my boomerang” ;) )

  42. noxy says:

    Hiya Marina! It’s been a while since I’ve posted a comment here, but I am still around, lurking and admiring all the loveliness that is your work. I saw this post a couple weeks ago, and just realized I never posted my opinion.

    These shoes are stunning. I quite enjoy seeing them on the doll, I love the way the doll’s toes can be seen! Fact is, your dolls do not need to walk, so “comfort” and “practicality” is unnecessary! Looking at the dainty, flat feet of your doll in these glamorous shoes sort of makes me feel like your doll is almost objecting to them, like “You want me to WALK in these? NOPE! But I’ll model them and I’ll look fierce doing it!” lol

    I can’t wait to see these in a picture with the full doll. And I cannot wait to see what other kinds of shoes you come up with for your dolls to look fab in. Love it!


  43. Mass says:

    The shoes look amazing, however I don’t like much how the feet look in them. The toes peeking from the shoes look not very aesthetically pleasing.

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  45. Hi marina, just bought your lovely doll book the other day and I just love your story’s that go along with your dolls, love the silver heels by the way , but I personally think that showing too much toes makes the shoes look odd, keep up the good work though c.goldie

  46. This is a topic which is close to my heart… Thank you! Exactly where are your contact details though?

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