Goot Strokes

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Whilst Josh Goot's strip-lighted big tamale of a show may have started with a series of solid blank canvases as seen in this post-show gathering here…

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… at the end of the day, it was the printwork that spoke to me not because there was a particular motif that I took a shining to, but because the application of Goot's prints have loosened up from the precise, perpendicular placement that he explored with his last A/W 11-12 lightning bolt and star scape filled collection.  This time round, Goot has the German painter Gerhard Richter to thank for the inspiration of his print story.  The scraped on dabs of paint, the depiction of motion and speed as well as the repetition and obscuring of subjects are all employed in Goot's prints mimicking the spirit of Richter's work.  Yet it is the way the print has been used to selectively cover Goot's precise and streamlined silhouettes that is quite intriging.  It's almost as if Goot masked off areas or printed the fabric with specific colours missing, like the effect of a printer that has run out of an ink cartridge or two.  The silhouette might have been controlled and tightened up in comparison to the last collection but the prints have dripped and dropped on them in a slightly more freehand way.  I have a longstanding relationship with all things painterly of course after being encouraged to go wild with my A-Level art canvases with brushloads of acrylic paint so it stands to reason that I should be taken with Goot's flurries of printwork that for me, are far better off, now that they're not depicting any literal thematic motif. 

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Richter's influence doesn't end at the prints as I had to keep diverting my attention from dresses to feet to catch a better glimpse of these acrylic rainbow heels.  I was so intrigued by the construction, I rushed backstage and got yelled at in the process, just to take a closer look at them.  I think the models were wondering why I wasn't there to take pictures of them. 

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On a 'digital' note because seemingly that's supposed to be my guru-subject, the last time I spoke to Goot, he said he had something special up his sleeve for his new website.  A year later and his website is now a grid-like image-fest that presents his collections and brand imagery and more important provides him with functional as well as a beautifully designed e-commerce element.  It's all down to the work of Portable, a multi-functioning agency that acts as PR firm, content-driven website as well as a digital creative studio, who are defintiely doing interesting things as a company.     

Haring Hooves

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>> The minor event is that the in-the-pipeline standalone Nicholas Kirkwood store is now officially open on 5 Mount Street adding to the strong bevy of openings like Loewe, Roland Mouret and Mackintosh adding to the designer heap pile.  I say minor because it was of course an inevitability for Nicholas Kirkwood as a company, which has seen extraordinary growth in in sales in the past two years and is pretty much an established major player in shoeland…

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The major event is that Nicholas Kirkwood's collaboration with 80s artist Keith Haring is now on display at the Mount Street store in its entirity and available to buy too should you wish to own something that I'll probably see in a museum exhibition in about 40 years time (should I still be here…) and I'll reminisce "Ah…. I remember seeing those at the store… ah there were many spilt Chambord-mixed drinks there…"  I first saw the seeds of Kirkwood's collaboration with the Keith Haring Foundation when I visited him at his old studio for the Selfridges Shoespaper feature and saw the amazing sketches that have now circulated around the blogosphere.  Kirkwood has taken motifs from Haring's work and applied onto an array of exaggerated shoe shapes that hark back to his pre-occupation with sculpturally challenging footwear. 

Even the floorboards have been painted with a cartoonish pronounced patina that matches the exhibition of the collaboration…

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Nowness has premiered a neat little Swarovski-sponsored film that explains how the collaboration came about and what fascianted Kirkwood about Haring but the proof are in these visually spectacular shoes that are fortunately not just one-off artefacts but wearable entities, much like his other stunning collaborations and his own mainline, that have you scratching your head thinking "How did he just THINK up a shoe like that?" 

Nicholas Kirkwood x Keith Haring on Nowness.com.

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