Sophia Webster Plays With Pop
“I like to bring out the little girl who likes to dress up,” said Sophia Webster at her pre-spring ’14 presentation. Webster is the latest rising star from across the pond, and she has been gaining buzz among industry insiders thanks to her whimsical, oh-so-British shoe and accessories line. (Since launching in 2012, her cheeky girlish Aztec-print heels and candy-colored handbags have already won over fashion magpies like Anna Dello Russo and Miroslava Duma.)
Rather than tracking current trends, Webster—who studied fine art and apprenticed under Nicholas Kirkwood for two years—cites pop culture as inspiration, naming styles after personal fashion icons, like the RiRi (a lace-up bootie–sandal hybrid) and the Azealia (a glitter-adorned convertible box clutch). “I tend not to look to other designers as a source of inspiration; it muddies what you’re trying to do,” the 28-year-old designer told Style.com. “I’d rather look at an artist or listen to inspiring music.” To wit, the line, which ranges from $195 to $700, is chock-full of Zeitgeist-y references—from jelly sandals and a play on Destiny’s Child’s R&B anthem “Bootylicious” to cartoonish clutches emblazoned with rap lyrics by Nicki Minaj.
Webster’s third collection, produced in Brazil, features her greatest hits remixed in new variations, including sculptural sandals festooned with polka dots and leather flower appliqués—a nod to Japanese photographer Mika Ninagawa—plus an array of Candy Land–like heels, wedges, and platforms adorned with chunky rhinestones, perforated hearts, and plenty of glitter. For those less daring, the collection includes an array of streamlined pumps with crystal-encrusted pin heels, as well as simple satin stilettos in a rainbow of hues. As Webster put it, “It’s about being playful, but doing it in an elegant way.”