72 posts tagged "Nicholas Kirkwood"
Paris is impatiently waiting for this summer to start, so it’s a little weird to be thinking already about what we want to wear next summer. Leave it to Nicholas Kirkwood to nudge us in that direction: The designer touched down during couture with a newly expanded range of covetable shoes, and take it from us, it’s going to be a tough choice. Since couture week means aching feet, let’s start with the flats: As promised last season, the designer has more of them on the way, in python lace-up, origami-inspired, or graphic black and gold options, not to mention butterfly-wing-lacy Vans. In a higher register, the designer is having a ball mixing bold color blocks, metallic finishes, and Japanese inspirations, evidenced by his high teal sandals with an orange flower and mottled metallic pumps with origami bows and a citrus heel. He’s also staying true to his inner architect with structured pieces ranging from a classic pump with nipped toe to a whitewashed cork platform and cutout sandals belted in patent and python. We haven’t had a chance to test them yet, but we’re guessing that those are for when someone else is fetching the champagne. And they sure will make a pretty picture.
Nicholas Kirkwood’s debut presentation for his men’s line came via his S/S 2015 outing at London’s Mercer Street Studios, where derbies, oxfords, and brogues took center stage. The standout detail was the chevron sole, a pattern that has become a bit of a signature for the designer. (It even once appeared on the Galaxy Note 3 phone flip-cover for his collaboration with Samsung.) Is the chevron pattern becoming Kirkwood’s red sole? “Not quite,” the designer told Style.com. “Mr. Louboutin uses [red] on all his soles, while my chevron made a cameo as an accent on just a few of the styles. I just really love the modernity of the pattern.”
Designed “for the bloke whose girlfriend loves to wear great shoes,” Kirkwood’s collection has something for everyone, including a few very cool sandals. Of the sandals, which are new to the Kirkwood repertoire, one male observer at the presentation said to his friend, “Man, these are dope.” We agree with him on that.
The designer also told us his newish alliance with LVMH helped him not only cut through the tiresome admin, but enabled him to “undertake more testing, experiment with more materials, and develop the collection further.” That came through loud and clear with some innovative uses in leather, including shoes with high-shine spazzolato leather, as well as rubberized and foil-laminated leathers. Untrammeled creativity continued with splashes of neon and very cool colors, like blush pink and mint green. Then there were candy-stripe accents, basket-weave details, and contrasting orange lace details—all of which had just enough high-fashion elements to make that girlfriend jealous, but then pulled back a bit just when it was heading over the top. It was an enlightened offering that underscored Kirkwood rightful membership in the LVMH club.
Think Chinese foot binding died out with the Qing Dynasty? Think again! According to a report in The New York Times, well-to-do women are seeking out plastic surgery so their tootsies can painlessly slip into high-fashion kicks by the likes of Christian Louboutin, Nicholas Kirkwood, and Manolo Blahnik. “On the surface, it looked shallow,” offered podiatrist Dr. Ali Sadrieh, who performs a variety of face-lifts for the feet. “But I came to see she needs these shoes to project confidence, they are part of her outside skin. That’s the real world.” I’d have to imagine that his definition of the “real world” is a loose one or, at the very least, exclusive to moneyed locales like Park Avenue and Beverly Hills.
Wouldn’t commissioning custom shoes or, maybe, petitioning designers to make more wearable stilettos be ever-so-slightly less shallow, not to mention less expensive? You could also try my (only mildly less ridiculous) method of choice—foot Pilates—for which I’m frequently, and rightly, laughed at by my friends. Even better, you could just buy Prada, who, thanks to its embrace of wide soles, makes some of the most comfortable skyscrapers on the planet.
Marco de Vincenzo: If you don’t know his name, you’d better learn it fast. The Italian up-and-comer, who has worked with Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi on the Fendi collection since 2000, recently secured financial backing from LVMH. LVMH has proven to be a strong supporter of fashion’s new guard—what with the creation its Young Fashion Designer Prize as well as its investment in Nicholas Kirkwood and J.W. Anderson—and bought a minority stake of De Vincenzo’s eponymous brand last month. Ever quick to the draw, Moda Operandi’s Indre Rockefeller has already scooped up the designer’s tactile, kaleidoscopic Fall ’14, and is offering it for pre-sale via an online trunk show, which runs through March 20. “I think he is an innovator,” Rockefeller told Style.com. “There are a number of designers who are doing beautiful things, but whenever I see Marco’s collections, it feels like he’s marching to the beat of his own drum,” she explained. “When you look at his use of color, texture, and print, it almost feels like he’s operating in another dimension. His Fall collection popped right off the runway, and for our purposes, it will pop right off the page as well.” That’s some high praise from a major retailer. “This was a very special season for me,” relayed De Vincenzo, who describes his woman as daring, classical, and hypnotic. “The timetable for a trunk show of this level is perfect because it’s so close to the show—the energy is still there,” he said of the Moda Operandi event. Here, De Vincenzo speaks with Style.com about LVMH, working with Silvia and Karl, and his plans for the future.
How has your role at Fendi influenced your design aesthetic? And what have you learned from Silvia and Karl?
When I started working at Fendi, I was a young boy. I owe all I know about this job to the opportunity I’ve had to observe and work with those two very important people—Silvia and Karl. I learned what it means to be free and to constantly want to reach my own goals and to create new ones. Working on bags together with Silvia gave me the opportunity to completely understand the balance that transforms a beautiful object into a big commercial success. I consider myself very lucky to have built my knowledge in such a context.
Did your role as a consultant at Fendi help facilitate LVMH’s investment in your brand?
Of course. Through Fendi, LVMH has had the time and opportunity to get to know me both as a creative and as a person. I love my job more than anything, and because of that, I dedicate most of my time to it. I believe that this dedication has been understood and appreciated.
Why did you feel it was the right move to sell a minority stake of your business to LVMH?
Being an independent designer is not easy. You can be noticed and arouse interest in people, but there’s a moment when you can’t satisfy what the fashion industry expects from season to season by yourself. You need to create and experiment, and you need money to do so. Furthermore, if you don’t have enough resources and a good team working with you, it’s hard to guarantee high quality concerning production and distribution. LVMH is giving me the possibility to grow.
We’ve seen big fashion companies investing in several emerging and independent designers in the last couple of years. What are your thoughts on this? And how do you think it will affect the fashion industry and help it evolve?
I think that all this can facilitate a real generational turnover—not only via hiring talented designers to reshape established brands, but also by helping new names. It’s very natural to invest in the future of fashion because nothing lasts forever, and innovation is essential in every creative field.
What are your plans now that LVMH has invested?
From now on the game will become more serious. This does not mean that my last years of work were a game, but it’s true that more resources, together with a strong, pure, and creative vision, can make miracles. My business is becoming more definite.
Can you tell us about your aesthetic? What excites and inspires you?
I leave instinct to guide me without any limits. My aesthetic varies—it’s a harmony between very different themes. Optical illusions, kinetic art, and visual and tactile 3-D concepts are some of my starting points, together with the idea of being well dressed, and typically Italian.
What would you like to see change in the fashion industry?
Unfortunately, I know a lot of very talented designers who had to give up their projects because they were alone and were not accepted by the fashion industry. This must be avoided. A substantial project always needs a group of different [supporters and creatives] to be built. In my opinion, it’s very important to have a good team working together.
Now that he’s had a few months to settle into his new home at LVMH, Nicholas Kirkwood is poised to rocket into new directions with a fresh range of silhouettes and categories. Despite an irresistible jewel-tone palette, Fall ’14 is less about whimsical color combinations (like we saw last season) than it is about shape, structure, and updated signatures.
One of Kirkwood’s latest obsessions, furniture by Constructivist artist Naum Gabo, provided ample fodder for a sculptural metal heel, a motif the designer magnifies and works in negative space as cutouts on black leather boots.
Not only is he bringing extra flourishes to his cocktail shoes with buckles or a slice of metal at the base of a heel, Kirkwood is also ramping up his red-carpet fare. “We’re thinking about metallics—they go with everything—crystals, and more true evening shoes as separate from cocktail shoes,” he explained. As for that much-awaited bag, Kirkwood offered, “A truly iconic bag will run for fifty years, but it takes time to find The One.”