Six or seven different patterns on one pair of shoes can spell disaster in most attempts, but the thought behind this pair of “Porcelain Dynasty” Nike Air Force 1s by C2 Customs ensured that would not happen. The theme behind the design was developed in the early part of 2011 while Chris Hui of C2 Customs studied abroad at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Just as PaintOrThread predicted this pair marks the first interestingly inspired work after his time overseas. The basis Chris derived the look from was the Chinese antiques on display at the Hong Kong Museum of Art. Notably the white porcelain items such as plates or vases with cobalt blue ink calligraphy made during Chinese dynasties hundreds of years ago. Overall Chris states that his objective was to “pull elements from my favorite pieces in the museum and create a piece composed of several individual designs. Each major panel of the sneaker would be unique from each other, while still combining to form a single composition as a whole.” The end result is one of the top custom sneakers ever made.
Starting off with an all white pair of Air Force 1s, typically a “bad” choice of base for most customs due to the overwhelming white sole and midsole, it was clearly the best choice for this concept. The patterns range from a variation of dragon scales, floral print, repeating arches, waves, cross hatch, squares, and vines. Each strategically chosen for the specific panel it was to cover. On close examination it can be seen that the blue paint was applied in such a manner that it reflected the same somewhat inconsistent application that is seen of the cobalt ink on porcelain. Even some panels were aged and hand weathered by Chris to reflect the look of the antique pieces. Lastly panels such as the back heels and tongue were given just enough blue to balance out the untouched soles and painted ankle lining. A problem among these Chinese porcelain pieces (highly recommended you read that links article) is the need for skilled people to restore them, if the custom sneaker thing doesn’t work C2 clearly has the skills to give it a shot.