Nicholas Kirkwood Debuts SS19
In An Immersive Experience During London Fashion Week
Nicholas Kirkwood presented his SS19 collection with a defiant on schedule show at London Fashion Week, a first for the eponymous footwear designer following a number of seasons in Paris.
The subculture of hacking, and independently spirited women, are at the center of Kirkwood’s inspiration. The defining characteristics of a hacker’s world, such as their fashion sense and working environment, inform every aspect of the footwear. The show presents a fashion fantasy which is Nicholas Kirkwood’s interpretation of this secretive community: “This is a subculture whose environment remains relatively unexplored from a fashion standpoint, despite their current cultural influence and how much intrigue there is around them” explains the designer.
The show itself hacks the traditional runway format, turning it on its head through a special set design and performance that pull guests into a world of chaos and frenetic energy. With a similar feel to a hacker’s studio, the space acts as a cyber reality where guests are immersed in a forest of constantly streaming algorithms and wires, setting the scene for the show’s plot – a group of hacker activists rebelling against a government enforced regime of banality and fashion monotony. The hacker’s environment, devoid of creativity and individuality, is the result of an Orwellian like dictator referenced by the name of Z, who sporadically appears on TV screens set across the stage, gazing down at the performers and audience.
The footwear is the hacker activists’ symbol of defiance against the rule of the ordinary. Kirkwood focuses on the tension between digital and organic elements, and the harmony and disharmony of different materials, to conceptualise a collection that offers sculptural and feminine stand-out pieces. Fabrics and components including puffer jacket fabrics, toggles, poppers, zips, and frosted vinyl, reference the sportswear and outdoor elements of the tech nerd’s wardrobe, while adding an elevated luxury feel. New fabrics include embroidered lace, perforated and foiled leathers.
The colour palette of neons, black, and white is inspired by the end of broadcast automation that appears on analogue TV stations, signalling the end of TV transmission. Patterns mimicking the visual mania of TV screen digital interference give classic pieces the Casati combat boot and Mira pearl pump a futuristic spin. Fantasy prints by Japanese digital artist Kagaya reference the posters that adorn a hacker’s bedroom walls, college dorm or t-shirt: vivid mythical motifs of Pegasus and galactic shapes.
Select printed styles, such as the Mira pearl pump, Casati combat boot and Beya loafer form a limited edition see-now-buy-now capsule collection, available exclusively on Farfetch and at the Nicholas Kirkwood flagship boutique on Mount Street.