The Most Awesome Shoes in the Universe

RWA is arriving soon, and with it, a great deal of attention to shoes. Alas, I have learned of The Most Awesome Shoes in the Universe, and there is only one pair. Please meet Rudi, a graduate student studying romance novels, who sent me an email with the subject line, “I made something cool and I wanted to share.”

I've spent the past couple of weeks working on a visual art piece that celebrates my love of romance novels. My work is pair of high heels that have been decoupaged with romance novel covers (both old skool and recent releases). They are entirely functional and I have plans to wear them … pretty much everywhere .

Essentially, they were for an assignment and will be in a small exhibition/showing that was organised by my tutorial tomorrow night (part of the assignment criteria included distributing the work) but I'd actually rather share them with romance readers because I know they'd have a deeper appreciation for them.

And did I mention the title of the work? I've called them “The Sole of a Romantic”. I live for puns, especially in regards to assignments.

They were technically for a writing class but the brief was deliberately vague and open ended because really, what is writing? Well, in my case writing is decoupaging a pair of high heels in romance novel covers.

Here is Rudi's Artistic Statement:

“The Sole of a Romantic” is a mixed media work that explores the tie between the image and text for romance novels, while celebrating my love of the romance genre as a reader.

Often when people find out that I read romance novels they tell me I “don’t seem the type” by which they mean I seem too smart/cynical/young/anti-cats to be a romance reader. Apparently reading choice is just as much a performance as any other aspect of identity, so with that in mind I decided I needed to perform my romance reading much more overtly. (Emphasis Sarah's) It was no longer enough to simply read, discuss and enjoy romance novels. I needed a way to wear my heart on my sleeve.

As a community we are often judged by the cover of our books, as though these images of windswept, provocatively posed men and women represent the text within the novel. However, cover snark and conversely the celebration of well executed covers has become an integral part of discussions surrounding romance novels within communities like The Bitchery for exactly the reason that the images so rarely reflect the text.

By taking an object that holds a tradition of femininity and sexuality, and covering it in images from romance covers I created a work that allowed me to perform and celebrate my love of romance novels anywhere I went in an act of decorative subversion.

Artist: Rudi Bremer
Photography by Phil Verness

Hold on to your hair, because your head might explode. Not even kidding. When I saw these pictures, my jaw dropped to my clavicle.


A platform heel with decoupage miniature romance covers glued all over it.


Another angle the surface of the shoe is all romance novels with hot pink glitter stripes on the sole and heel


Another angle of the shoes from the side


A close up of the toe of one shoe showing bertrice small, tessa dare, and other novels on the surface of the shoe


Another close up with more covers including Flowers from the Storm Fabio's rogue and Johanna Lindsey


Rudi modeling her shoes - they are so fabulous


The shoes from the other side modeled by Rudi




animated gif of an opera house standing ovation as seen from the stage


Congrats on a fabulous achievement, Rudi. I hope you got a big ol' sparkly A+ on your assignment! 

ETA: Rudi's shoes, which are going to be turned for her assignment today, have also made their fabulous way to NPR's Monkey See blog! I'd say she more than met her exhibition requirement, yeah?


Fun And Games

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    MissB2U says:

    The only thing that would make them better is if the Pull My Finger Viking was on there somewhere.  Awesome job Rudi!

  2. 2
    Paula says:

    Amazing shoes!!!
    I can’t stop looking at them!

  3. 3
    Tam B. says:

    Absolutely stunning shoes!  Well Done.  I’d give you an A on the assignment.  (Of course I’d want to steal them too.)  Thank you so much for sharing.

    I sense a cottage industry is about to be born.  I would love a pair and I’m sure I’m not alone.  Rudi could sell at all the con’s and I’m sure sell out in seconds.

  4. 4

    Wonderful! They’d go with the romance novel corset that Mills and Boon Uk own. Someone made a whole corset from romance novel covers, and it’s beautiful!
    I have a picture of it here (at the bottom of the page)

  5. 5
    Deborah says:

    what a brilliant idea! they look wonderful.

  6. 6
    Kat says:

    an act of decorative subversion

    —I would like this to be my life’s motto. (Also, FAB shoes, Rudi!)

  7. 7
    Liz Talley says:

    Ohhhhh! Those are just….ohhhh. I love all those old school covers. I want a pair of shoes with Johanna Lindsay and Beatrice Small on them. This is the best Monday post in a while :)

    Yay for her brilliance!


    A shoe whore

  8. 8

    Those are some awesome shoes.

  9. 9
    Sarah Morgan says:

    I want a pair SO BADLY I’m salivating. Rudi, they are wonderful. You are so talented and clever. Congratulations

  10. 10
    Jaci Burton says:

    Those are the most amazing freaking shoes ever. And I’ll bet Rudi could sell a bundle of them to smart, romance loving women everywhere. Congratulations, Rudi!

  11. 11
    Darlynne says:

    I am so not a shoe person (please, leave my Doc Martens alone), but even *I* recognize the wonder and fabulousness of this pair. Truly, that has to be the finest expression of decoupage I have ever seen.

  12. 12
    Stephanie Doyle says:

    I would pay a sick amount of money for those shoes! Simply fabulous.

  13. 13
    jimthered says:

    And it’s considerate that most of the titles are on them too, avoiding the frustration of casual viewers wondering what cover that’s from.

  14. 14
    Jessi Gage says:

    And Rudi will be making more when…and charging how much for them! Please be $350 or less, because my husband would murder me if I paid more for shoes than a laptop.

  15. 15
    MaryK says:

    They are gorgeous. Both as art and as shoes.

  16. 16
    Laura Drake says:

    She could make a mint, selling these at conference!

    She’d be mobbed in the halls, just walking around in them!

  17. 17
    Dana says:

    I don’t get a lot of opportunities to wear high heels (farm wife and all that), but I would pay mega-bucks for those shoes, if for no other reason that they would make me silly-happy-grin when I saw them in the closet. I agree with the others who see a business in the making…

  18. 18
    SB Sarah says:

    I told Rudi when she sent me the pictures that she should be prepared for massive numbers of requests. I’d wear the hell out of those. Aren’t they amazing?!

  19. 19

    These make me wish I could wear heels. So awesome!

  20. 20
    Tessa Dare says:

    Those are amazing!  I squealed a little when I spotted one of my covers in there. 

    I would say I’m dying for a pair of my own, but then I think they’d be less special if there were a bunch out there.

    So instead, I wish they were magic shoes.  And they could be passed around Romanceland, and they would magically fit each woman, and it could be like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Awesomely Decoupaged Shoes, and wearing them would lead to better posture, enhanced confidence, and delicious summer romances.

  21. 21
    Jordan Rowe says:

    Wow!!!!!  I love the shoes and definitely wish I had a pair!  Way to go Rudi!

  22. 22
    Susan Ross says:

    What a fabulous pair of shoes!! However, having old, not-so-good feet, could you make a pair with much lower heels & platforms – You could make them in a series so that you could include all the covers you put on the higher shoes – I guarantee you would make a bundle!

  23. 23
    laj says:

    Step aside Manolo Blanik, L.K Bennet and Jimmy Choo…..Rudi’s Romance Shoes are the most f**king awesome pair of high heels I’ve seen in a long time!

    I would love a pair of decoupage ballet flats……and hey Darlynne your Doc’s would look great decoupaged with romance covers.

  24. 24
    Elyse says:


  25. 25
    h.vert says:

    those shoes are amazing!

    love them!

  26. 26
    Darlynne says:

    @laj: I know, I know!

    ”… and wearing them would lead to better posture, enhanced confidence, and delicious summer romances.” @Tessa Dare, you are as awesome as these shoes.

  27. 27
    Cate says:

    Now THAT’S just bloody showing off !!!!!  :) 
      I want them, I need themm, they can be my new preciouses ……
    Oh, Hell,  Rudi –  you’re just a clever old stick who deserves A +++‘s

  28. 28


    And better yet is Tessa Dare’s suggestion of a Sisterhood of the Traveling Awesomely Decoupaged Shoes.

    Kudos and kisses to their creator.

  29. 29
    Heather Snow says:

    Okay, I’m the kind of girl who wears flip flops everywhere I go…and even I am drooling over these! Brilliance.


    (Thinking I need to make some for RWA!)

  30. 30

    My knees would never forgive me for wearing those beauties, but if they came in a kitten heel I’d snap them up in a New York second!

    So much shoe lust right now.

    My safeword is “Party83”. I think that’s the last year I could wear shoes with that high a heel.

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