Negative and Positive Spaces

Negative and Positive Spaces

I told you there was a shoe fest a-coming and with press days quite literally 'pressing' in thick and fast, ye olde photos on the camera that have been sitting there since Paris back in March (yarsh…Happy April and all that…) need to be off loaded sharpish. 

A visit to Nicholas Kirkwood's showroom in Paris has come to signify for me, a huge sigh of relief as shows finally come to an end and at last I get to have time to digest showrooms and have a gander at my own snail's pace.  In Kirkwood's case, I seem to always end up staying longer than expected to take in heels, flats, sketches, larks (mysterious meat from the local Japanese cafe) and tales (this time, one of the tales included Kirkwood's very cute photo diary for Vogue.It about a pair of his shoes making their way over to Sarah Jessica Parker for the Oscars). 

Like last season, Nicholas Kirkwood's range goes broader because he is getting the point where a potential shop-in-shop or standalone store may be fleeting possibilities.  It's weird how I've tracked his work for such a long time that in my head, he's still a 'new' name but I must banish this thought now.  So we have the dressier/statement portion of shoes beginning with this spray painted suede lace-ups…



Then some lace/embroidery motifs to add much to the texture story of A/W 10-11…  I see these wedges sitting pretty with Christopher Kane's collection (though Giuseppe Zanotti will have something to say about that what with Kane's own shoe collab with Zanotti…)



The lace-up shape continues into these more muted shades… this is pretty much the spot-on shade of powder blue.  If I had to describe something as 'powder' blue, this is the colour that would come to mind.  I curse the day my mother chucked out a 70s vanity case, this exact colour…


A faded plum…


A more pronounced burnt orange with a metallic purple…


Brighter mesh boots…

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The popular flat brogues of last season are back with more colour options…

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Actually, weirdly enough, this time round, I'm really loving Kirkwood's 'daywear' range… the simpler, blockier shapes that are striking in their chunkiness.  You can't take the chunky-heel love away from me….

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That recurring slanted heel shape returns in these two-piece booties… never thought I'd see Kirkwood do a multi-way shoe…


Now here comes the science… or maths… or whatever it is that controls shoe ergonomics…

I don't have Nicholas' impromptu sketch to illustrate but basically this heel shape here that you see in these two shoes…



…slots just behind this wedge shape here on this ankle boot.  So it's a utilisation of two negative spaces… or something of that matter.  Anyway, seeing as I very poorly glossed over shoe mechanics, all I can say, is that I thought it was pretty impressive.  Again, quick sketch on a napkin is needed…


Impressive wedge shape aside, these may be the thigh high boots that I've been searching for (save for those Prada A/W 09 waders…) that I can see myself pounding streets in…even the suede isn't detracting me from the possibilities of street-pounding.  Am I the only person who likes scuffed-up, dusty suede?

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Shoe collab time… Nicholas Kirkwood provided quite a few designers with shoes this season and also collaborated with three this season, one of which is of course Rodarte… nuff' said about those waxy babies and the second are these Preen skater fringed boots…

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and finally, these Erdem printed hiking boots, which I can't quite get over.  I didn't see the Erdem show so for me, they're just standalone superb shoes on their own, regardless of what watercolour floral frocks were paired with them.  Fortunately, they're not merely show shoe samples to be picked over by the fashion industry as they will be available to buy at Browns though at what price, I'm afraid to ask…

What's achingly good about these is that they're not lofty, spindly shoes that people liken to *nose sniff* 'art' and they just look like boots that you can chuck on and instantly, whatever you're wearing with them seems a whole lot better pre-Kirkwood-Erdem-bootification…





Leave a comment
  1. Clare

    2010-04-01 at 11:14 AM

    Shoe porn! Nicholas Kirkwood is a genius, I especially love the two pale blue ones, the heels on the second pair are amazing…

  2. Calypso

    2010-04-01 at 11:20 AM

    drool.. Ah he never fails to deliver such beautiful shoes! truly works of art… Love the purple and orange ones and the ones he made for Erdem are just awesome. WANT.
    Love from CAlypso

  3. Malin

    2010-04-01 at 11:20 AM

    Amazing stuff!
    Love the faded plum ones! lovely

  4. Vint Junky

    2010-04-01 at 11:43 AM

    Yeah shoe porn indeed!
    The erderm hikers are genius

  5. Leonidas

    2010-04-01 at 11:44 AM

    nicholas kirkwood is an amazing shoe designer. i especially love the one he designs for rodarte

  6. trashtastika

    2010-04-01 at 11:47 AM

    I’m in love with all of these!! But especially the first turquoise brocade ones with the lovely sheen…

  7. Bex

    2010-04-01 at 11:54 AM


  8. Brigadeiro

    2010-04-01 at 12:23 PM

    Wowee! That grey brocade wedge is wicked!

  9. EmilyTroy

    2010-04-01 at 12:31 PM

    Wow…I can’t decide which pair I liked best! Great post! The shoes are really amazing!
    xx Emily

  10. Annie

    2010-04-01 at 12:42 PM

    oh yay, YAY for NK!!!! an architectural genius

  11. Elamankulkija

    2010-04-01 at 1:11 PM

    Cool shoes, though not so sure about the last ones. Too many colours at once, even though the colourful palette is in style at the moment.

  12. lyrebirdgully

    2010-04-01 at 1:35 PM

    Great shoe post Susie. Stack heels are my faves,they are so so Latin, similar to cowboy and flamenco heels. And, love that hiking style, they’ve got that old world vintage boot feel.

  13. WendyB

    2010-04-01 at 2:03 PM

    I like those printed ones with the sturdy heel! And the color of the faded plum is so unusual.

  14. melina bee

    2010-04-01 at 2:04 PM

    wow, all these shoes are so sculptural. the blue suede pair are dreamy, although I fear breaking my neck in all of these.
    melina bee

  15. Clare

    2010-04-01 at 2:47 PM

    Goodness me, you really are teasing me with all of these shoes I can never possibly own!
    That first pair is so interesting, as I actually just thought they were shiny, and the spray paint was just the emphasis on the shine! Now that I realise they are spray painted, I think I love them even more.
    Nicholas Kirkwood really excels himself in terms of the sculptural qualities of the shoe. A heel is never JUST a heel. He always manages to give it more of an interesting shape.
    Clare x

  16. sottch

    2010-04-01 at 2:49 PM

    im so impressionned i lke it. very beautifful creations

  17. Misanthropic Pulp

    2010-04-01 at 2:50 PM

    these are just divine, the colors and the shape work so well together….√óD
    lovely post.

  18. Robyn

    2010-04-01 at 3:12 PM

    Ahhh I LOVE the Erden printed hiking boots. They have a similar feel to the floral Doc Martens, but SO much better. I can totally see chucking these on with a neutral outfit and them just taking everything else to a whole new level. They’re fantastic!

  19. Love fashion

    2010-04-01 at 3:40 PM

    Nice shoes… but the ones on this page are so much nicer…
    wish i could afford them 🙁

  20. Becca

    2010-04-01 at 3:40 PM

    All of these are so amazing. I have to agree though, those erdem print boots are unreal! Loving them.

  21. Dara

    2010-04-01 at 4:12 PM

    so gorgeous!!!!! I love the colors and print!! wow….

  22. Rosie

    2010-04-01 at 4:26 PM

    as soon as i saw the detail shots of those boots you posted last above, i wanted them. such a beautiful way to lift ANY combination, just like you say! the colour combinations are delicious. i cannot hope for the real thing, but i CAN hope the high street throws out a few rogue copycats (in my direction, hopefully)…

  23. Dani

    2010-04-01 at 4:29 PM

    those Erdem shoes were one of my favorite pieces from all of fashion week.
    the shape is lovely but the prints are just… divine.

  24. Gen

    2010-04-01 at 4:47 PM

    They´re not shoes. They are masterpieces of art!

  25. Mother of Style

    2010-04-01 at 4:51 PM

    THis is one of my favorite posts that you’ve done. If I had my pick of any of these shoes I’d go with the booties- they are basic enough to be wearble for years to some, but they have enough edge that they’ll always feel special.

  26. tiarastrash

    2010-04-01 at 5:24 PM
  27. jessica hannan

    2010-04-01 at 6:41 PM

    I interviewed him once..he is a really nice guy, not how you would expect
    These shoes would look good with this versace…

  28. EJ

    2010-04-01 at 9:16 PM

    Ok, posting your own blog’s link 4 times in one comment steps over the line from crazy to just plain rude!
    You’re still fab though, Suze x

  29. Catherine

    2010-04-01 at 9:26 PM

    Those Erdems have been ma dream.

  30. susie_bubble

    2010-04-01 at 9:52 PM

    EJ: Duly noted… and alas, to Jessica Hannan, I’ve had to remove three of your links in your comment… it does look very spammy when you leave links more than once. I’m not even sure why people leave links in comments as surely you’d click through on links on the name, no? Anyhow… repeated link leaving will be edited… sorry!

  31. Ji

    2010-04-01 at 10:03 PM

    The shoes are FANTASTIC. My preferred model: The first one, the colour is great !

  32. Rebecca

    2010-04-01 at 10:16 PM

    The problem with Nicholas Kirkwood’s shoes is that they are all just too high. What I would give for an interesting mid height sculptural heel. I’d love to see Nicholas spend a night in those six inch heels. and I own a pair! Nice design- shame I can’t wear them for more than a couple of hours.

  33. Klarisse

    2010-04-02 at 12:37 AM

    Those last 3 booties–I want them 🙁

  34. Winnie

    2010-04-02 at 5:13 AM

    Wowwww shoes! I love the Erdem hiking boots so much. Beautiful.

  35. The Beauty Philosopher

    2010-04-02 at 11:36 AM

    Those shoes are amazing. Just amazing.

  36. Duck

    2010-04-02 at 3:12 PM

    “negative spaces” always make me think of a certain Buffy The Vampire episode from when I was a teenager. Beautiful shoes! If only he did men’s…

  37. Alexandra Suhner Isenberg

    2010-04-02 at 5:16 PM

    As much as I like Nicholas Kirkwood’s work, I have to say that it is not that difficult to make a fantastic ¬£700 shoe. Any decent designer can do something incredible when they are working on that sort of budget. I would like to see what he is able to do if he were trying to make a ¬£300 shoe. My friend Julia (Lundsten, from Finsk shoes, always talks about how easy it is to make a very expensive shoe, but how difficult it is to make something beautifully designed, but somewhat affordable. I do know that a lot of people can afford Nicholas Kirkwood, but a lot more people can afford a ¬£300 shoe, and I think he needs to reconsider his prices if he wants to really make it big, and open his own store, as you are suggesting. Either that, or he improves his quality, so he can compete with the Manolo Blahniks or Pierre Hardys of the world, who create stunning shoes of impeccable quality and fit. I’ve tried on Nicholas Kirkwood’s shoes before, and they don’t seem to have a great fit or beautiful construction. But I won’t disagree that his designs are pretty cool.

  38. I like those shoes. There are amazing.

  39. valeria

    2010-04-06 at 2:37 PM

    Nocholas why you make us suffer so much?i want them all!

  40. nike air max

    2010-04-07 at 8:11 AM

    What a great post! Just one suggestion:If you add some pics, it would be easiler to follow!

  41. drmartensboots

    2010-11-06 at 1:10 PM

    This reminds me of the patent leather Doc Martins boots for which I have had a hankering. Happy to hear that you wear your Docs with suits. Great post!

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