May I present, what I and my fellow fashion commentators are predicting as the next big thing in the shoeworld, Miss Sophia Grace Webster. Deep within the rabbit warren of the LFW SS13 Exhibition at Somerset House, I stumbled across something vibrant, something unique, something that made me want to sit down and try on everything all at once; the most fantastic shoe collection ever.
A graduate of the Royal College of Art and design assistant-turned-protégé to footwear icon, Nicholas Kirkwood (whom she has worked with since 2010), Webster just launched her own line at London Fashion Week SS13, with her mentor’s endorsement of course. Touted as “sophisticated and modern, commercially viable yet creatively fresh”, Webster’s collection is all these things and more. Encasing her models into human-sized Barbie boxes and packaging her presentation with kitsch-cool hues of bubblegum pink, sherbet lemon and baby blue, the footwear and accessories designer set the scene for her sweetie-stacked heels, pop-art aztec prints and tropical neon brights.
She may have only just sprung into our style conscience but Webster has already racked up some impressive accolades, including the Drapers Student Footwear Designer of the Year 2009 and the Browns Show Designer Award of the same year. Now, in 2012, she can add recipient of the NEWGEN sponsorship fund to her CV. An initiative of the British Fashion Council, NEWGEN supports emerging talent, with the likes of Palmer//Harding, Christopher Raeburn and Huishan Zhang joining Webster in presenting their collections at the LFW Exhbition.
Merging her flare for the unconventional with a healthy dose of business savvy, Webster has commissioned the production and manufacture of her line not to the costly Italians but to the less expensive shores of Brazil, which enables her to offer an accessible price range varying from £200 to £550 for a pair of her coveted heels.
In a nod to a collection that’s all about fun and subverting convention, I think I may also be on to something here with my plastic, teething ring-crafted accessories…