An epiphyte is a plant that grows on another plant... so what would we call a plant that grows on a shoe???
The French artist and designer Christophe Guinet has been exploring the use of plant materials to create the most beautiful Nike shoes that I have ever seen!
This interesting work is undoubtedly painfully slow but I think the results really do reflect the delicacy of a small orchid on a host tree or the interwoven communities of moss and ferns amongst flaky tree bark.
If you used epiphytic species and kept the shoe in the right environment, you might even be able to keep them alive... maybe moss and Bulbophyllum pygmaeum?
To see more, check out Christophe's website: www.epiphytegarden.com
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I work with NZ's native vascular epiphytes at the University of Waikato. I completed an MSc on epiphyte ecology and the shrub epiphyte Griselinia lucida and have recently published the Field Guide to NZ's Epiphytes, Vines & Mistletoes.