Heel Seams Or Lack Thereof
Septieme Largeur recently created a new model that seems (no pun intended) to be defying the limits of what can and can’t be done on RTW shoes, or at least trying to as much as possible. You see, heel seams are something that are necessary (for the most part) for the holding of the counter/quarter together on a pair of Ready To Wear shoes. The smaller the counter is, the easier it is to last over, but the bigger it gets, extending in to the quarter or vamp, or becoming a whole cut, the more likely you will need a large seam to hold the pieces together and release pressure from the rest of the shoe. That being, what SL have done here is taken what would normally be two different pieces of leather (the inside and outside heel counters/quarters) and cut 1 big one instead and wrapped it around without a top to bottom heel seam. This is not easy to do in RTW making and must be done quite carefully without either A. ripping the leather or B. creating a lot of excess wrinkles in the leather. Lasting this by hand would not be a problem but when using machines to last over the leather, things get limiting.
Therefore it is quite impressive what they have done, as it looks much nicer (IMHO) to have less of a seam than one that goes from top to bottom. And ultimately having no seam is the cleanest look of all, but I am afraid that is only possible in hand lasted shoes.
On another note, what is even more impressive is the seamless wholecut boot that Antonio Meccariello has just created (see below). A seamless wholecut shoe is hard enough, but to make it in boot form is just mind blowing. And what a good job he has done. Who is going to one-up him now? I feel like someone will try to make a seamless cowboy boot. (Although I think it would be physically impossible without completely defying the laws of physics). But hey, more and more makers are getting into the seamless wholecut business and it is quite fascinating to see who comes up with what, in both RTW and bespoke shoemaking. Innovation is always intriguing, especially when done without going overboard. Well done to these two makers!