Continuing the store’s support of local talent Re: So, Southampton Solent University’s retail initiative hosted a launch event to celebrate a brand-new exhibition in association with Dr. Martens Southampton.
Dr. Martens invited Southampton Solent art students to customise 10 pairs of the iconic 1460 boot that were worn by individuals from all walks of life as a symbol of rebellious self-expression for nearly 60 years. Students were encouraged to draw upon inspiration from the 1460’s long, rich heritage to create a pair of boots unique to them.
It was easy to see the shop employees had put in a lot of effort for the event. There was 60’s music playing in the background and a whole table dedicated to the designs.
The store was successfully showing off the different cultures and artists in correlation with the dominance of Dr. Martens subcultures throughout the 20th Century. The opportunities the brand gives people to express themselves and rock the ‘Punk’ culture, was definitely the main inspiration. You could see ripped pictures and labels glued onto the table, an old bike wheel suspended in the air with chains falling down and pictures hung on it.
Taking into consideration that these students had just a week to create their designs, the result was incredibly original, innovated and diversified. From lyrics and text painted all over the boot, coloured illustrations, sewed fabric – to glued flowers, ripped pamphlets with drumsticks and guitar picks added and even a destroyed pair of shoes.
I met four of the students who were behind some of the creations and were there to see them finally on display and had a talk with them to know how they felt about their final projects and the meaning behind it. They shared their experiences and it was really interesting how different their ideas and experiences were from one another.
Naomi Madigan, a Fashion Styling student as well as the one who was behind the construction of the table at Re: So, chose the title “For the Punks That Never Punk’d”. She was inspired by her dad’s rebellious nature which stemmed from his families’ religious background, making Dr. Martens a perfect way to express himself.
Jade, a Fine Art Student, decided to go beyond and explore how long a pair of Docs’ really lasts for. She talked about how in the main Dr. Martens’ shop there is a stand that holds products to maintain and preserve the quality of the shoes, but she wanted to create something different to that, something in contrast to the renowned resistant and reliable Dr. Martens. She did everything including setting them on fire, but it was scissors that finally defeated the reliant boot.
Support independent students with their own designs @resosouthampon and check out the new Dr. Martens shop in Southampton’s High Street.