Just like sculptors pouring their hearts and souls into each unique piece they carve, we as shoe artisans pour our hearts and souls into our shoemaking craft, each creation so soulful and full of character.
Our Heart & Soul editorial chronicles the process of an artist breathing life into a new work of art. In the artist’s studio, unfinished compositions are waiting for inspiration’s loving hands to sculpt graceful elements out of unassuming materials with Bella Belle’s signature thoughtful technique. From conception to realization, she transforms into an embodiment of the sculpture itself with statuesque poise and stately allure. Her craft represents her beauty, emotion, and form.
This is our modern-day take on luxury shoes, drawing on the heritage of fashion in art, interlaced with contemporary construction. Each shoe in this collection is lovingly designed with careful consideration for architectural construction and decadent materials to evoke emotion like an impeccably balanced marble sculpture. We use leather, silk, and lace to create wearable 3D art, evoking the methods of basic clay and marble being molded and chiseled into sculpted works. Whether shoes or statues, the process of combining raw materials with expert craftsmanship, plus a generous helping of the creator’s heart and soul, leads to exquisite works of art.
The contours of shapely cutouts and folded bows add dimension, while custom-made lace and twinkling jeweled ornaments give layers of texture and light. Oversized bows and flowers project beyond the space of the average high heel shoe for uniquely inventive silhouettes.
Pleated layers of silk and tulle mesh form loopy bows reminiscent of soft drapery captured through sculpture. We reimagined the capabilities of lace to create Francesca and Leila’s richly textured bows for elevated details.
Brides in search of sparkle will gravitate towards glittering appliques that garnish the toe, contrasting with crisp ivory silk in jeweled opulence. Brilliant rhinestone crystals and radiant pearls are etched into the intricate floral metalwork of Lilian, Marlene, and Victoria; conjuring the visage of laurel branches carved atop classical Greco-Roman marble statue.
The front of Helen is made of artfully pleated tulle mesh, creating lines that draw the eye upwards towards an enchanting row of chiffon flowers and silver-threaded leaves. Each Bella Belle shoe is completely handmade, loving sincerity and years of experience cumulate into this magically stunning shoe.
Designed to be customizable to each individual bride’s taste, Wisteria is a play on the basic strappy heel. The namesake flower tassel can be styled in front or to the side, or removed entirely for a minimalistic feel. We encourage re-using the flower tassel to jazz up shoes and handbags.
By popular demand, we expanded our block heel selection, including Izzy’s new 4-inch block heel height. The wider heel base improves stability and comfort, and won’t sink into soft grass. The slanted bow at the front of Izzy balances the visual weight of the chunky heel. This mule is modern and romantic at the same time.
3D lily of the valley flowers are formed out of delicate chiffon, lending an airy ethereal feel to the Libby heel. We think lily of the valley is the perfect flower to incorporate into your wedding day, as this petite flower traditionally symbolizes happiness. Fine art brides, these Libby will frame your feet beautifully as you walk down the aisle. They make such gorgeous photo opportunities as well.
To carry the story deeper, we looked for structured dresses, with folds reminiscent of drapery captured through skillful carving. Just like the shoes, the dresses themselves must also be a form of wearable sculpture. Dress designers are artists as well, creating dresses that convey their interpretation of art and beauty.
The Spencer gown from La Premiere’s J’Aton Couture collection features sumptuously rich fabric, expertly gathered to add regal shape and texture to the human form. We love the balance of the billowy sleeves with the high-slit skirt. Note the unexpected detail of the subtle bows knotted at the upper arms, which exquisitely compliment the architectural bows on the Zoey shoes.
How better to show off shoes than with a short hemline. This Viktor and Rolf Mariage dress has a stunningly long tulle train that almost floats, like the way a master sculptor captures nearly translucent fabric out of solid stone. The short, mod shift dress is brought current with the ruffle trims around the entire hem and train of the dress. Fresh and designed for the fashionistas in all of us, this dress could very well be what Emily Cooper in “Emily in Paris” would wear at her own wedding.
The empire waist of this gown from Viktor and Rolf Mariage draws similarity to the Greek chiton, a garment commonly seen in ancient Greek sculpture. We nicknamed this dress “Goddess”. With its Oscar-worthy presence, this dress demands attention by way of the balloon sleeves and ball gown silhouette. How fitting is this look amongst the sculpture works of art: voluminous and regal.
We always love an oversized bow, and the bow back actually doubles as puff sleeves! Lavenir Boutique’s Lauren is a removable piece that functions as sleeves and a train. From behind, the bow loops almost resemble angelic wings. Little White Dress is all the rage driven by the rise of micro weddings and civil ceremonies, and we wanted an outfit that radiates confidence. It is impossible not to feel fabulous when strutting in this dress, and of course, gorgeous Bella Belle heels!
Draped in this melancholic robe by Alon Livne, she is the embodiment of art reminiscent of the bygone era. The eye-catching collar of this robe beautifully frames the face. The lucent ivory satin showing off her glowing complexion. The flowy movement from the neckline and sleeves lend a statuesque air to her pose. Which fashion icon do you think would choose this look for her own wedding?
Ritual Unions’ Serene top and Allie skirt combo balances her body’s silhouette with the silky ripples of the cascading train. A study of textural play, the soft origami details on the top is an interesting juxtaposition with the molded sculptures around her.
Finally, to round up the look, the magnificent Dorotea cape by Sophie et Voila, courtesy of Bella Bridal Atelier, envelopes her like a porcelain figure. Inside is a slip from Sarah Seven to complete the head to toe vision in ivory.
The inspiration behind this shoe collection is the heart and soul that we as artists pour into our creation. We wanted to organically tell this story of craftsmanship and creation in the place that houses incredible works of art and where the artists who create them work. We chose a setting evocative of a fine art museum, to draw parallels between shoes and sculpture as two forms of 3D art. This venue is the The Caproni Collection by Skylight Studios, which creates meticulous plaster reproductions of world-renowned sculptures. It is everything that we had imagined and more.
Stepping into this venue transported us to the bygone eras of hand craftsmanship, where every corner reveals the artisans’ works of art. Their store room is brimming with exquisite custom pieces in every shape and size imaginable. Every wabi sabi has a story to tell, almost overwhelming our senses but giving us a deeper appreciation for the hands who have created these beauties.
The artists working in the studio have paint over their overalls, chippings of plasters on their hands, and smiles on their faces, putting their stamp of heart and soul in the piece they are working on. Their abilities are rare gems as their skills are gained from decades of dedication to their crafts. The weathered hands are symbols of their love for the art, something that strikes deep for us. Our hands are the reflections of our love for our shoemaking art, where our team handcraft each element of the shoes to create exquisite works of art for your feet.
We are immensely grateful to have the opportunity to capture memories at a place drenched with art wonders and history. At the end of the photoshoot, we fervently hoped that we did the venue and the artists that created the sculptural wonders justice with our stories!
Each artist that we worked with for the editorial had their own interpretation on ‘Heart & Soul’.
We are honored to work with some of the best creatives in the industry. We couldn’t have done this without their expertise that delivered a feast for the eyes.
Joy Proctor, Creative Director and Stylist:
Joy dreams when others don’t dare to dream. She pushes the boundary of story-telling, exploring the underlying emotion to be captured. She draws out the best from those around her to collectively create something next level. Here is her interpretation on the Heart & Soul editorial.
From Joy: “For the ‘22 Collection Bella Belle chose an homage to the artist; the depths of heart and soul a creative put into their work, from concept to creation. I envisioned the theme telling the story of the way art breathes life’s into our souls; from the fire of inspiration to the final result, revealing the artist through their work.
Visually it was important to me that we told this story chronologically; we meet the artist in her studio; dreaming, sketching, moulding, chiseling. Strewn throughout the studio are hand drawn sketches and tools, sitting amidst finished sculptural works. As she breathes her creations to life, she becomes them, eventually transforming into an embodiment of the sculpture itself.”
Laura Gordon, Painterly Photographer Extraordinaire:
Every imagery is the artistic interpretation of the soul behind the camera pressing the shutter. It is clear to see how Laura’s imagery is full of *her* heart and soul, inimitable by others in the industry. Renowned as the painterly photographer, she masterfully communicates her art by choreographing the subjects and objects before her, harnessing the beauty of light and architectural details of the space.
From Laura: “As soon as I learned of the vision for the Bella Belle Heart & Soul Campaign, I immediately thought of ways this concept could be translated into a story using actual sculptures as our inspiration for the shoot. The time it takes as an artisan to think up, communicate, and then actually create art is such a process. A hand-carved sculpture showcasing such artistry is an excellent example as the perfectly imperfect marks from their creator throughout will be present. I wanted to challenge myself as a visual artist to use that space not only as inspiration but also as a backdrop to beautifully accentuate and compliment the bold silhouettes seen throughout this collection from Bella Belle.”
Mark Yeattes, Motion Picture Artist:
Mark has laid his eyes on some of the most glorious places on earth. His interpretation of art is, therefore, expansive. His footage showcases the character of the subject in front of his camera, drawing the essence of her being – her heart and soul.
From Mark: “As I thought about the theme of the Bella Belle editorial, "Heart & Soul", I was inspired by the parallels of different artists' interpretations of that phrase. Being on location in a sculptors studio, I wanted to show how artists of different mediums create their art... whether it be a sculpture or luxury heels. No matter the medium, "heart" and "soul" can be found in any art form.”
We are eternally grateful for these incredible creatives who lend their talents and visions in this beautiful project.
We have loved sharing the journey of putting this collection with you. We hope this will empower you to embrace the inner artist in you and make the world a more beautiful place with your creations, no matter how big or small.
Shop the Heart & Soul Collection.