Cinderella Syndrome – Real or Dream?

A  ‘warm up’ post towards the in-depth post about the Cinderella Syndrome exhibition, now exhibiting in Ha’Chava Gallery in Holon exploring beyond the boundaries of stiletto shoes as we know them.So what did we have?The opening on June-18 was hot, just before summer’s hottest heat wave reaches our shores, and there was genuine excitement in the air.The exhibited shoes were fascinating each on its own merit; together they created a colourful, fantastical drama.And there was another drama taking place – the audience! A cool crowd of creative and innovative individuals, proving they understand one or two things about shoes, and who took the concept of “an exhibition” one or two steps forward – into life itself!


Maya and Kobi Gutwein

She’s wearing shoes by Shoemaker, where she worked as a designer for two years. Kobi is wearing shoes by Loading which were bought in France.

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-Maya N Koby Gotwein loading-shoemaker _1 straighten


Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-Maya N Koby Gotwein loading-shoemaker _2_cr colours

The Guild shoe and accessory design school

Shoes designed  by Maya Gutwein

The shoe relates to the erotic aspects of Rapunzel.

Most amazing: the yellow hair is real! Additional materials: leather upper and a wooden, leather-covered  heel.

Produced by The Guild, Footwear And Fashion Accessories Design School, under the management of Nina Rozin, Kobi Levi, Orit Zaks

Photo: The Guild

Uncoded Steps סינדרום סינדרלה-סטילטו-מיה-גוטווין-נעליים-ביהס הגילדה 700
Rapunzel’s shoe by Maya Gutwein

Sharon Tal

The designer who brought Maskit fashion house back to life, wearing shoes by Vince

Tal Tsur, the brand’s founder Iota Project ; Iota Project create furniture based on knitted textiles in a technique they have developed. The innovative brand also carries the values of social responsibility. Tal is wearing sandals designed by Theory .

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-Sharon Tal Maskit_1
A summer dialogue

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-Sharon Tal Maskit_Straighten

Ya’ara Keydar,

The exhibition’s curator, is wearing sandals by Loeffler Randall

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-Yaara Keidar_2
Delicate gold straps amid many fascinating patterns

Aviva is wearing pumps by Nine West. A colourful zebra

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-Aviva Nine West_2

It’s not about snakes and ladders, but about snakes and zebras! A colourful Hermes bag flits with all its might.

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-Aviva Hermes

The sculptress Dorit Levinstein with a bag by Issey Miyake. Geometric, clean, complex simplicity. I loooove the adjustable openings along the strap.

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-issey miyake Dorit Levinstein_1_cr

Who’s in the pic: Sharon Ziv, a yoga teacher. Most precise: the shell bracelet. That’s the way to go when wearing Zara sandals! In the background Barak Lahav, fashion designer, wearing New Balance shoes.

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-Sharon Ziv-Zara BarakLahav-New Balance_2

Me, in a dialogue with myself:

Me: why the hell did I take this picture with such an open aperture? There’s only about 1.5 mm in focus! All the rest is kind of blurry. What on earth was I thinking??

Myself: You’d better learn for the next exhibition!

Me: This is a once in life time exhibition; the moment was snapped and gone.

So here we are, left with Zara with a hint and tint of focus 🙂

More colours; United Nude, Desigual and a smile

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-Desigual-Unitd nude

Amelia Naaman from Kfar Saba, owner of “Peace Café”. Wearing shoes by Norman And Bella.

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-Amalya-Norman and Bella_2_cr
Sandals by Norman and Bella

The riot of colour continues: Amelia Naaman is wearing jewelry designed by Ruth Hassan, and holding a bag bought in an exclusive home sale of imported designer’s items.

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-Amalya Accessories_1_cr_cr

Shoes worn by Kay Long. Source: unknown and so mysterious. Classically golden.

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-Kay Long_2
Kay Long; a golden mystery 

I also met Noa Rubin who exhibited three pairs of shoes. The shoes she is wearing were bought from a Victorian-style website. “I am connected to Gothic style, also in my work” says Noa. And you can also see it in the necklaces she’s wearing: the pink one was bought in the flea market, the black one she made herself; she took apart and re-assembled jewelry items to create her own Gothic fantasy.

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-nowa rubin _Victorian Style
Noa Rubin. Her connection to Gothic is her starting point

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-Noya Rubin
Noa Rubin. A Gothic puzzle

Bezalel Design Academy;

Noa Rubin; Sacred Pulse

The shoe is created out of and inspired by parchment leather traditionally used for sacred texts. The life force of the parchment itself is reflected in the form and flow of the shoe.

Materials:  parchment leather, sole leather, goat skin, fiberglass, beech wood

Technique: wet molding, sewing, hand sculpting and carving.

Instructor: Eli Ginzburg, Bezalel Academy, Jewelry and Fashion Department.

Photo: Pola Shechtman, Dean Wilson

Uncoded Steps סינסרום סינדרלה-סטילטו-בצלאל-נעליים-Nowa Rubin Sacred Pulse
Noa Rubin, Sacred Pulse

Noa Rubin;Tribute to Alexander McQueen

Materials: goat leather, synthetic cork, natural cork, magic steel clay ,sole leather, karkit fiberglass

Technique: hand sculpting, wet molding, leather coating

Instructor: Eli Ginzburg, Bezalel Academy, Jewelry and Fashion Department

Photo: Noy Biri

Uncoded Steps סינדרום סינדרלה-סטילטו-בצלאל-Nowa Rubin Homage Alexander McQueen בצל
Noa Rubin, a tribute to Alexander McQueen’s Armadillo shoe

Noy Biri was also at the exhibition. She bought the sandals she was wearing on-line. ”This was the first time I’ve bought sandals on-line, and I don’t think I’ll be doing it again”. Why? Because I was missing the fun of trying on the shoe, also, waiting for the sandals to arrive from overseas totally drove me mad. I just couldn’t wait!

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-Noy Biri _Internet
Noy Biri, experiments in buying shoes on-line

Noy Biri. Straight lines in black and white on soft materials. In the background: Torn jeans. Noy is holding a catalogue of the exhibition printed in a super-limited edition.  Currently the hottest accessory in town.

Dress: Top-Shop New York. Bag designed by Aya Feldman. Ring designed by Noy Biri.

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-Noy Biri
Many desirable items, especially the flamingo-coloured catalogue

Noy Biri; Spanish Dancer

Materials: carbon fibres, beech wood, leather processed from plants, koyo

Bezalel Academy, Jewelry and Fashion Department

Photo: Tal Avisar

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-Noy Biri_2
Spanish Dancer by Noy Biri

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-Noy Biri_1
Design: Noy Biri. Photo by Tal Avisar

Rivka Bezalel wearing a dress by Zara. The tattoo is an ancient blessing in Hebrew. Sometimes that’s all you need; a good dress with the right blessing 😉

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-rivka-bezalel_1 Lighter

Rivka with a bag by My Urban Runway

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-Rivka Bezalel handbag

And the crowning glory (in my view) Rivka is wearing shoes by Sutrah designed by Guild graduate Sahar Abu Seif, who made her debut with an original and high quality collection. Sahar presented her final project at The Guild less than a year ago; in my view the project and the presentation were among the most exciting and beautiful that I’ve seen.

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-rivka-bezalel_2 effects_cr
Shoes by Sutrah, Sahar Abu Seif

Yasmin Sasson, manageress of Ha’Chava Gallery, who seemed slightly overwhelmed from the many people who stomped to the opening, wearing Bally shoes

Did I like them?? Yes, indeed! A squarish cut off shaped last is a rare bird in these pointed days.

The shoe resonates functionality and steadiness straight from the 1940’s style.

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-Yasmin Sason Baly_2
Shoes by Bally

I loved: the mix with the zippered dress

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-Yasmin Sason Baly_1
Enter a caption

Oren Rehani: actor and portrait photographer who recently returned after 12 years in Los Angeles, wearing Fly London sandals. What’s interesting? Wide straps and wide buckle in men’s sandals. What’s even more interesting: the edges of the straps are slightly filed down creating a graphic line along the edges; shiny leather versus rough surfaces. Exquisite details, hidden drama.

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-Oren Rehany-Fly_2_cr
Sandals by Fly London

Rosario is wearing flip flops by Raf Simons, created in a limited edition. Bought in Fred Segal, Los Angeles

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-Limited edition RAF Simon's-Shop-Fred legal_2

 And what was I wearing? Sandals I designed for Yoopi Shoes

What’s fun about them? Leather manufactured using ecological processes that don’t pollute. Laser cut on the front strap, and really comfortable heel and sole

And why are they photographed this way?? Because I forgot to take a picture of me! I was too infatuated by all that was happening around me. All was so amazing and fun.

Uncoded Steps Shelley Lewis Yoopi Sandals SS2016 fashion ecco leather -2_cr_cr

Enlightened stiletto shoe

Two final photos of shoes from a totally different aspect – lighting

Creation presented by Rotem Gur of Vas and Crafts: metaphysical glass shoe. How does all this happen? Screening wine glasses on to the wall creates a silhouette of stiletto heels

Why did I love this? Original, and created with lighting, without materials

And it’s even more interesting to see such work from a designer who creates the shoes with her own hands and has mastered the secrets and creation of sandals.

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-Rotem Gur Vas & Crafts _straighten
Vas and Crafts. And lights

Uncoded Steps Cinderella Syndrome-Stiletto-Rotem Gur Vas & Crafts _3

Through the peeping hole: a kind of romantic dream in a pink fluffy cloud. And what is the outcome of this pink dream? Yep, you are right – Cinderella Syndrome! 🙂 So beware and watch your steps:)



Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.









Shoes and more; jewelry design in Shenkar

It was Thursday evening

Entertainment venue: Shenkar, Faculty of Design

What’s going on: presentation in the Department of Jewelry Design

Which course: designing display windows

The course has been running at Shenkar for 14 years, headed by Gillian Golan and Hagar ben Shalom

Moderators for the current course: Gillian Golan who specializes in business development in the field of design and Yoav Miller, a sculptor who has brought a new and fresh perspective to the design department.

Why I’m there: I was invited, as a guest critic to give an appraisal on the students’ work

Me. A critic? More on this at the end of the post. Stay tuned 🙂

Uncoded Steps Shenkar Jewelry shoes design_Mary Grossman
Presentation at Shenkar; dramatic, beautiful and funny too. Photo by Mark Grossman
Uncoded Steps Shenkar Jewelry shoes design_3
Yael Uliel; lecturer at Shenkar; An interesting dialogue between lecturers and students. Photo by Mark Grossman


The course on display windows is a unique course within the framewrk of the Department of Jewelry at Shenkar. After 4 years during which the students design in the scale of millimeters, they are asked to design a display window two meters high. They probably feel like Lilliputian in the land of the Giants. Apparently this is also the first time that they experience their jewelry from the commercial aspect of a display window. The aim:  to transform a good concept into a harmonious window that will create this “must have” feeling and make passersby stop, desire and forget all about their plans for that day!

Uncoded Steps Liliput Gulliver shoe design
Gulliver in the land of the Little People and the Giants, illustration by Otto Ernst Schmidt. Drawing from here 

Every two months five different students present the display window they have designed. This is a year’s course so the teaching staff make sure that the students will give their blood, sweat and tears throughout the year; designing is first of all a process and research, and only then are the design decisions expressed in material and the small details.

So who do we have this time?

Mary Grossman

Mary’s window is painted yellow with touches of ochre which break it far from the CMYK yellow but still leave it close to the circle of bold colours. Mary chose a central element in her jewelry design – a fold line that creates a three-dimensional structure with a clean look – and used it on a large scale in order to create aluminium display surfaces. Each surface is a unique design yet still a clear and uniform language.  The aluminium surfaces define a display area within the large window, leaving a yellow surround, which is exactly what our eyes and soul crave for.

Mary has also designed shoes inspired by the architect Dominique Perrault and they continue Mary’s design language: folds, fragmenting, and building anew through a variety of materials – leather, silver and plastic. The final result of the shoes is a combination of serious avant garde with a dash of darkness; just the way we love it 😉

You can see more of  Mary’s work here

Mary Grossman_Mark_2
Smiling 🙂 Photo by Mark Grossman

Shoes inspired by architect Dominique Perrault. I love its folds and the geometric sensation.

Uncoded Steps Mary Grossman shoe design Shenkar
Image from Mary Grossman’s website

Mary Grossman’s chess board. Folds, bold colours and a clean look; style with a clear hand writing

Uncoded Steps Mary Grossman Chess design project Shenkar
Image from Mary Grossman’s website

Chain of hearts, response to one of the narratives that occupies the jewelry world – a heart is the most widely sold shape in jewelry.

Uncoded Steps Mary Grossman Heart design jewelry neckless Shenkar
Image from Mary Grossman’s website
Mary Grossman_1.2
From Mary’s display window; detail
Mary Grossman_4.2
Mary Grossman’s display window

Two windows, two colours which tell so many stories.

Uncoded Steps Shenkar Jewelry shoes design_5
Photo by Mark Grossman
Uncoded Steps Shenkar Jewelry shoes design_2
Batya Wang, Lecturer at Shenkar. Photo by Mark Grossman

Liraz Borstain

Liraz presented an aesthetic and precise window at a high standard. The items are presented on panels that echo and resonate the jewelry. How did she do this?

Elastic bands were her starting point. The same elastic bands used for wax injection. She incorporated them to create surfaces into which she poured silicone. Does this go without saying? No, absolutely no! This is a technique developed by Liraz herself.

The general sensation is of floating archeology, as if an historical secrete is revealed to us, sharing with us its ancient pink spell. Liraz’s jewelry are created from a variety of materials and textiles, in integrated technologies

Uncoded Steps Shenkar Jewelry design Liraz Borstain_1
Liraz Borstain; floating archeology in dream like smoky colours.

In the picture three pieces of Liraz’s jewelry:

The piece on the right is made from biased cut ribbons and beads,

The middle piece is made from biased cut ribbons and metal,

The smaller pendants on the left are made from synthetic threads using heating technique

Uncoded Steps Shenkar Jewelry design Liraz Borstain_3
Liraz Borstain; technique, materials, design
Uncoded Steps Shenkar Jewelry design Liraz Borstain_2
Bag by Liraz Borstain

Maya Shoshan

Combined inspiration from Britain and Africa which were an endless source of inspiration for her during her studies, but this time she decided to also make a stopover in Casablanca, which danced in the background in a blue print image and three-dimensional elements which served as connectors and hooks on which she presented the jewelry. Maya is a creator who follows the charm of beauty, and she blends eclectic elements in a way that sparks inspiration. We didn’t fully understand the flight path she chose: Britain-Casablanca-the depths of Africa, but hey, who said design is all about logic? In Maya’s hands this turns this into an aesthetic logic.

As a designer who usually falls in love mainly with the idea, I wondered about this. Yael Ulliel described this beautifully when she suggested refining the terms so as to create a more exact and integrated design.Yet Maya’s love of the magic of beauty transcends above all this, or as Uri Samt summarized: your noise is not noisy, harmonious noisy.

See more on Maya’s instagram page

Uncoded Steps Shenkar Jewelry design Maya Shoshan_3
Detail from Mays Shoshan’s display window

English horse, African bag and Moroccan decoration. A new logic in a rich and global world.

Uncoded Steps Shenkar Jewelry design Maya Shoshan_1
Photos by Maya Shoshan
Uncoded Steps Shenkar Jewelry design Maya Shoshan_5
Eclectic royalty from the land of legends. Photos by Maya Shoshan
Uncoded Steps Shenkar Jewelry design Maya Shoshan_2
Maya Shoshan’s display window
Uncoded Steps Shenkar Jewelry design Maya Shoshan_4
Necklace desinged by Maya Shoshan. Photo by Maya Shoshan

Tal Efraim

Placed in the window large pages which resemble a gigantic sketch book. (Haven’t we’ve said Lilliput already?? 🙂 Tal has created order in the space, first by the sketch book, which is smaller than the window. An excellent decision; you don’t have to use all the window, sometimes the ’emptiness’ defines the center and the essential. To the sketch book Tal added an element from the world of sewing – a large red stitch which creates a grid along the page from which the connectors sprout, the hooks which serve to display the jewelry. The transition between the red stitch and the red metal hooks  is almost invisible – it’s not obvious to create such an harmonious transition between two different materials, so that they will look almost as one.

Uncoded Steps Shenkar Jewelry design Tal Efraim_6
Items from Tal Efraim’s display window. Brass jewelry.
Uncoded Steps Shenkar Jewelry design Tal Efraim_4
A detail from Tal Efraim’s display window

Jewelry designed by Tal Efraim. On the right, silver ring, a model that was built and printed in 3D, and zircons. In the centre a pendant set with garnets and on the left a brooch from 925 silver and pure silver inside.

Uncoded Steps Shenkar Jewelry design Tal Efraim_2
Image by Tal Efraim

Brooches made of silver plated brass. Tal already created a relief by hand during the wax stage, before the metal was poured. The black stones  – Swarovski stones in a limited edition

Uncoded Steps Shenkar Jewelry design Tal Efraim_1
Image by Tal Efraim

What else would we just loooove to see: adding pages so we get more of this ‘sketch book’ feeling, and connecting the sketch book to the background using the red stitch instead of the aluminium pole. In my opinion a less shiny background would also add. Extra brilliant: the little irregularities of the threads which pop out of the sides and bottom of the sketch book; escaping the order. To me this felt like a dash of good British humour – a (very) little wink taking place in the margins 😉

Interesting items from Tal Efraim’s display window: elements that “escape” from the sketch book. One of them is even sewn into the wall

Uncoded Steps Shenkar Jewelry design Tal Efraim_3
Tal Efraim’s funky escaping details

Hadar Shragai

Displayed her jewelry on a background that combines recycled wood coated in concrete with the stucco technique, a technique characterised by coating, planing and so forth, like a soft sculpture on the concrete and wood. The result exposes the wood from between the concrete which is painted in blue and similar to the woodwork found in some of her jewelry designs. A (slightly) more detailed explanation about stucco at the end of the post.

The division of the background into four panels refreshes and contributes to the composition, and the light colour lends softness and leaves centre stage to the jewelry.

Uncoded Steps Shenkar Jewelry Hadarling 3
Hadar’s display window; details.
Uncoded Steps Hadar Shragai Jewelry design fashion
HadarLing’s jewelry design. Image by Hadar Shragai
Uncoded Steps שנקר הדר שרגאי עיצוב תכשיטים
Jewerlry degisn, Hadar Shragai. Image by Hadar
Uncoded Steps Shenkar Jewelry Hadarling business cards
Hadarling; a stand for business cards in the spirit of the display window.

What people were wearing and a little more atmosphere

Mary is wearing Adidas sneakers in a colour reminiscent of Liraz’s window. Did they plot this together? 😉

Uncoded Steps Shenkar Jewelry shoes design_Adidas

Uncoded Steps Shenkar Jewelry shoes design_Melissa
Oh Melissa, you are so stylish

Several levels above the regular snacks; stylish catering! Missing in this picture: the fine wine and sweet watermelons which were part of the fun.

Uncoded Steps Shenkar Jewelry shoes design_cup cakes
Photo by Mark Grossman

The presentation has ended, and where am I in the big, or small picture?

After the presentation I met up with friends.

“I was at a presentation at Shenkar”, I told them, “Is was invited to be a critic, and I am not crazy about the  word critic. When I was studying design the criticism wasn’t ‘my cup of tea’. I think everyone suffers from this at one level or other.  I am looking for an alternative word. I thought of feedback. But that’s also not so great”

“Mentor, you’re a mentor!”, Niva said

“No”, I said, “mentor is for someone who’s studied, who has education and training”.

Perhaps we could call it a design dialogue, or a creative conversation? I don’t know, let’s leave it for the moment as an open and wild question.  One day I’ll understand who I am and what my role is in Lilliput, the land of Giants and the Little People.

Further reading;

In Hebrew about the creative process and design process. If you find your way in this biblical language the following posts are really cool and interesting

From Mina Protnov-Mashan’s “Migdala” blog, a series of three posts about design thinking. For the first post, second and third.

From Carina Weber’s blog, The Trilogy of Creation; part one, two and three.

Shoe I designed for Nubikk

The sketches are a (small) part of the entire design process

Uncoded Steps Nubikk men shoe design

Additional lecturers

Who took part in the presentation and contributed their experience, knowledge and insights to the lively discussion about display windows

Sharon Keren, current head of the department

Uri Samt, incoming head of the department

Batya Wang

Yael Ulliel

Uriel Miron

And of course the moderators Gillian Golan and Yoav Miller


More about Stucco

The attached description is based on an explanation I received from Hadar – another minute and I’ll start plastering by myself 🙂 The word stucco describes a certain type of plaster which is used as a surface finish.

The first layer on the blue panels of Hadar’s display window are made from compressed OCB wood. Hadar used the wood as a means of creating the main composition of the panels, the three-dimensional structure

Above this is a netting combined with a semantic splattering  ( I learnt many new terms about plaster!) – crude plaster that can be used for building and sculpturing and on top of that, the queen of the layers – the stucco! Two very thin layers of plaster. Before the plaster dries it’s polished with cotton material, a process which creates a shine and gives the whole window its unique appearance

And to summarize the process: at the end of the day caressing and gentle strokes is what we really love and need .  Remember this when you are on the way from the Land of the Little People to the Land of the Giants 🙂

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.