Cinderella's shoe up for auction

BRIDGET JONES
Last updated 05:00 30/09/2012
Jewellery designer Sarah Hutchings spent hours painstakingly attaching white diamonds to this Kathryn Wilson shoe, which will be auctioned for charity.
PHIL DOYLE/Fairfax NZ

ONE FOR THE WELL-HEELED: Jewellery designer Sarah Hutchings spent hours painstakingly attaching white diamonds to this Kathryn Wilson shoe, which will be auctioned for charity.

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If you have wanted to be Cinderella, Kiwi shoe designer Kathryn Wilson can make it happen, but you'll need a spare $500,000 or so.

The Auckland footwear queen teamed up with Sarah Hutchings of Orsini Fine Jewellery to create the most expensive shoe ever made in New Zealand.

Hutchings painstakingly placed more than half a million dollars' worth of white diamonds on to a single classic court-heeled shoe to create a one-off work of art.

The process involved hours of surgeon-like precision using tweezers and a special adhesive.

The result will be for sale in a silent auction at Wilson's 2013 autumn/winter collection launch in Auckland on Thursday.

Other artworks featured are by fashion photographers including Chris Sisarich, Rob Trathen and Olivia Hemus. And artists such as Henrietta Harris, Adrian Hailwood and Stella Castle have all created their own interpretations of Wilson's shoes.

Proceeds from the sale will go to Ronald McDonald House, for which Wilson is an ambassador.

Wilson says the dazzling centrepiece of the collection's launch may not be suitable to wear, but sometimes that's what fairytales are all about.

Creating a dream shoe "appeals to the princess inside me and, I'm sure, most girls out there".

Given the price tag of about $500,000, it may take a princess's bank balance to afford a shoe that will be displayed in a specially made Perspex box on the night and watched over by two security guards.

Hutchings says she can imagine one or two of her customers giving it pride of place in their homes.

Despite the bruised and bloody fingers that resulted from creating the artwork, the Auckland jewellery designer says the chance to combine two of her great loves was worth the pain.

“Like most women, I have a lifelong love of shoes. And the opportunity to collaborate with Kathryn Wilson, using my passion for fine gemstones, was too incredible to pass up.”

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