For Los Angeles designer George Esquivel, made-to-order shoes are "always about the craft."
Having begun his career apprenticed to a cobbler, it's evident that careful construction is at the heart of Esquivel's work. His latest collection for spring and summer 2011 continues this fine handmade tradition and adds some unusual metallic textures and fun, vibrant color.
Esquivel says he's drawn inspiration for his latest line from architect Frank Gehry. Some of the metallic textured uppers may hint at that, but the influence is not altogether that apparent. The strength of the collection lies in the combination of top quality workmanship with a little flair of whimsy.
Esquivel's suede textured wingtips are presented in bright fruity colors like tangerine, lime and cranberry. Their shape is masculine, but Esquivel has created his group for unisex wear. The laces on these wingtips looks like pieces of a loose hem, which is a nice casual detail that together with the color modernizes what otherwise could be a stodgy traditional design.
Esquivel's women's ankle-high boots similarly feature an amusing array of colors, though drawing from a somewhat darker palette. There's a rich a purple and a teal along with suede, smooth leather and gold metallic textures.
The uppers of these boots are riddled with rectangle or oval shaped cut-outs. Another Gehry architectural reference perhaps, or simply more playfulness to add to a spirited collection.