Sophia Dolls

Young and fresh shoe designers don't come knocking on the door that often.  Young, fresh and astonishingly good shoe designers definitely come around maybe once in a blue moon.  Sophia Webster's debut presentation was therefore a treat to be relished, so much so that I squealed everytime someone asked me how the presentation was just as I was leaving.  It was a shamelessly girly squeal, one that could be heard maybe five streets away because of its decibel levels.  Webster hasn't just sprung out of nowhere though.  She's been carrying the label of being Nicholas Kirkwood's "prot√©g√©" due to the fact that this award-winning Cordwainers and RCA graduate worked for Kirkwood for two years before launching her own line.  Kirkwood is also curiously supporting Webster in the production and sales of her own collection which can't be over-emphasised as to how important this is in setting up a young designer.  It's a lovely tale to hear that Kirkwood promised to help Webster start her own collection once she had worked two years with him.  Kirkwood's stamp of approval, mentorship and support has immediately gotten Webster stockists such as colette, Net a Porter, Harvey Nichols and Bergdorf Goodman with her resort 2013 collection.  It's a relationship that to me strikes me as a sort of Rei Kawakubo/Junya/Tao type set-up.  Nicholas Kirkwood and Sophia Webster are two separate brands but are sort of within the same family, complimenting each other and of course from Webster's perspective, she has the back end supported by what is an established shoe brand.  Neither compete with each other because Webster's aesthetic is so distinctively young whereas Kirkwood's has matured over the years into a high end and ultra luxurious product. This sort of mentorship relationship feels especially potent in a field such as footwear where getting noticed and getting production right can be tricky.  

Of course for all of Kirkwood's support and nurturing, none of that would really matter if Webster didn't actually deliver the goods.  She does in spades.  In fact, she's probably staged the most ambitious presentation I've ever seen for a shoe line.  She marked her debut with a bang by referencing my favourite film of all time – Welcome to the Dollhouse.  Life size Sophia dolls stood in brilliantly constructed boxes, accessorised to the nines with bags and shoes from Webster's main S/S 13 collection, which was inspired by her holiday to Rio and all the colours and vibrancy that she took away from it.  She's already established a penchant for a poppy take on Aztec patterns, Hmong tribal motifs and Yayoi Kusama's dots and all of that is still very much present in this new collection.  She allowed herself to take it to another level by pushing the boat out for more pastels, more bows, more pop art references, more kitsch – just more of everything really.   Who knew a flamingo could make an appearance on a shoe and look so convincing?  About five people came up to me and said "You need this entire room!" and I wondered, "How do I make that happen?"  I could have quite happily stayed there for hours on end, squealing over these lifesize dolls and their ensembles.  

If you haven't got excited enough about Webster's shoe and accessory candy, then the real kicker is that Webster's collection will be pitched at a high contemporary price-point.  I.e. not as expensive as Kirkwood's shoes – something between ¬£195 to ¬£595.  Not dirt cheap but definitely attainable and touchable.  Just another reason why Kirkwood and Webster go hand in hand together.  Now the wait begins until Webster's shoes start properly pounding the streets, which will no doubt be inevitable after this stellar presentation sees a loud clamour from buyers and customers alike.  




























Webster did two pair of shoes for Sister by Sibling's show today in the brightest of neons… 



And yes… these are real Sophia Webster baby sandals.  And they are going into production.  Auntie Susie here needs to splash out on two special girl tots, who both deserve these delightful shoes… 



49 Replies to “Sophia Dolls”

  1. The concept of the doll boxes, the speech bubbles clutches, flamingos and pastels are just unbearably cute even if all the ‘dolls’ look like they’d rather be hanging out with ken in their dream-house.
    PixelHazard | Bright Green Laces |

  2. You weren’t kidding. Almost every shoe is life changing, and not even in that “almost unattainable, imperceptibly glamourous” Nic Kirkwood kind of way – more of a kitsch-meets-timeless-and-ladylike way. To me they almost appear that they should be silly but instead they’re both fun and super wearable. I don’t know how many fashion description cliches I just used there but I’m trying to word my thoughts. The pictures speak for themselves, thankfully:)

  3. Yes, I forgot my name too when I saw that stupendous thigh-high foot art in the Aztec Tribe-tastic series. But I imagine if you put on any of these shoes your life suddenly becomes technicolour.

  4. This collection is beautiful and the sense of nostagia it evokes is both heart-warming and a tad eerie.
    What Webster has managed to highlight is fashion CAN be fun – not something stark, rigid and minimalist. Plus, the shoes are, as you rightly put it, “attainable” and, more than that, despite their outlandish appearance completely wearable.
    Best Wishes,

  5. No wonder you squealed like a girl after seeing this presentation! These shoes and bags are incredible, original, fun, and creative…all of which are harder to find in this world of cheap copies and identically-reproduced trends. I will definitely be following this designer to see. What else she has in store!
    ardena rose

  6. The shoes are so fab. It’s great to see designers injecting (wait for pun) some fun back into their clothes. Seeing this really reminds me of when I was younger and played with my sister’s barbies I mean.. er.. my power rangers and race cars, what barbie? lol

  7. The shoes and the handbags really rocked if for me, They are unique and very trendy and stylish. Very wearable and stunning, now l know that babies too can put on high heeled shoes.

  8. Good thing you remembered the kids, most of the time they are forgotten.Those shoes and handbags for the kids are fabulous, the kids too can style and do a little bit of modelling.

  9. Not going to lie, I may have let out a squeal when viewing this at my desk. And then again when I scrolled down to the baby shoes (those multi leopard sandals in adult sizes, please!) As a fellow Sophia, I feel that this collection really speaks to me. Kindred spirits and all. I can only imagine how much more visually wowing this all would have been IRL.

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