It’s like falling in love all over again. It was Jimmy Choo for ages, and then along came Nicholas Kirkwood. Camilla Skovgaard followed not long after, and it’s now Charlotte Olympia. My wandering heart’s on the move again, and I’d like you to meet Sophia Webster.
If the paragraph above rolled off your tongue with nary a hiccup, you’ve got your statement shoe It designers down pat. I was about to conclude that the British seem to be having more fun with their statement shoes, but I didn’t want to make any sweeping statements here (The designers are largely based in London though, although not all are British in nationality). Anyway, I had to get to the bottom of their source of creativity, and found out that they’re not only statement shoe designers of the moment, but – ta-dah! – Celebrated alumni of Cordwainers at the London College of Fashion.
There are shoe designers and then there are the cordwainers. The difference is the emphasis on technical training they have received and the instillment of a deep understanding and respect for their craft. Having worked with Kirkwood as his design assistant since 2010, Sophia Webster is the latest cordwainer on the scene, and is well on her way to becoming the fashion footwear industry’s next big thing.
Her footwear is instantly recognizable by its kaleidoscope of bright pop-colours, hyper-real detailing and playful embellishments. With stripes, bubble-shapes and heels that look like they were made by arranging multi-coloured candy on a toothpick, picking out my favourite shoe is virtually impossible. Okay, if there has to be just one, top of the list probably belongs to the pastel Aztec open-toe bootie.