Tank : Cherevichkiotvichki

Dadaist footwear

Cherevichkiotvichki autumn/winter 14
Photography Jonas Lindstroem, fashion Bobby Hook

“Repeat after me: tree-vitch-ki-at-vitch-ki,” says Lithuanian shoemaker Victoria Andrejeva, slowly pronouncing her label’s name, Cherevichkiotvichki. “That’s not too difficult, is it? It’s old Slavic for ‘a shoe by Victoria’, but said in a playful and childish way.” The etymology recalls Andrejeva’s childhood under Soviet rule – often the root of her inspirations – while the lighthearted language sums up her personality and approach. 

To the unfamiliar eye, Andrejeva’s shoes are unsettling. She deliberately scuffs the leather, splashes water across a pair of tan heels and fastens peep-toes to shoes with discoloured strips of fabric. She also experiments with unorthodox finishes: avocado peel, melted copper paste, cotton dyed with nuts and apricot pits. 

This season she turned to Surrealism and the Dadaists for inspiration. “When I first started my research, one of the things I found most appealing was the whole utilitarian look they obtained. Their approach was minimal yet playful. So it felt very relevant to me. This is the pair that speaks the most about Surrealism – they represent the collection,” she says, unveiling some unassuming off-white Derbys. “In the showroom, clients would completely brush them aside. I would yell, ‘Just a minute! Just a minute!’ and show them that although they’re a pair, they have teeny-tiny differences.” Such as one lace being red, the other a piece of string.

Under closer inspection, every pair in the collection has subtle variations in the stitching, heels, material and colour, like Cherevichkiotvichki in-jokes. “It’s that sort of playful thing that my studio is about,” she says. “Having two different shoes that form a pair. It’s discreet, but that’s what spawned the collection and sets the tone for my work.”

Cherevichkiotvichki by Nazanin Shahnavaz for Tank Magazine