Yesterday morning we went to check out Nicholas Kirkwood’s latest shoe collection, inspired by Disney’s upcoming Oz the Great and Powerful, and to speak to the designer himself.
Kirkwood was no doubt a natural choice to design this collection, given his knack for creating conceptual, artistic footwear and when asked how the collaboration with Disney came about, he explained that Disney approached him and asked if he would conjure up some designs based around the film that would be exclusive to Selfridges. Naturally, he was thrilled.
As it was, he ended up creating four shoes, each inspired by one of the film’s main characters: Glinda, the Good Witch, played by Michelle Williams, Theodora, the Wicked Witch of the West, played by Mila Kunis, Evanora, the Wicked Witch of the East, played by Rachel Weisz and Oz himself, portrayed by James Franco. Shoes have, of course, always been intrinsically linked with Oz and when talking about the ruby slippers in the original film his face lit up, although he said that because the Disney version takes place before Dorothy or her red shoes enter the story, he couldn’t directly use them as an influence (having said that, take a look at his Theodora shoes, below).
Like many people his age (he is 32), Kirkwood grew up with Disney films. “You’re not human if you don’t love Disney films,” he said, citing 101 Dalmatians and Alice in Wonderland as favourites. Did they inspire him to go into the world of fashion? “It’s not like I was inspired by Cruella de Vil’s dalmatian coat,” he joked, but you need only look at his designs to know that this is a designer who knows how to use magic. Amazing thought and detail has gone into each of the designs, with even the materials reflecting the character each shoe was inspired by.
The Glinda shoe, which Nicholas described as having a “princess feel”, is made of a delicate white lace, infused with suede and decorated in Swarovski crystals reminiscent of the bubble the Good Witch travels in. It is finished off with an ethereal pleated organza ruffle on the heel and retails at £965.
Theodora’s is an ankle boot which he saw as “representing the potential darkness within”. As such it is made of perforated velvet revealing ruby red sequins within, which are the subtle nod to the ruby slippers we mentioned earlier. Trimmed in metallic red, the red laces feature a star on each end, which is a magical touch. The Theodora boots are priced at £895.
The Evanora-inspired shoe includes python, black lace and sequins to reflect “the dark and mysterious feel” of her character. They are a deep emerald green, featuring a complex, almost laser cut, design reminiscent of a cobweb and cost £1095.
Finally, the Oz brogues for men feature a mind-bending zig zag design embroidered in black and silver as a nod to “the power his character so desires” (price on demand).
After spending a morning drooling over Kirkwood’s creations it was time to click our heels three times and head back home…