Sophia Webster has gone from strength to strength, applying the skills she learned under Nicholas Kirkwood to create her own fantasy world starring insane shoes and equally colourful bags. In her latest presentation the fanfare and madness of the circus meets the metallic tones and smooth lines of the future. Models stared blank faced at the crowd while confined by weird and wacky costumes, these included chunky lycra cushioned arm bracelets, bulbous metallic helmets and bird beaks. In many ways this felt like a greatest hits collection, with the speech bubble clutches making yet another appearance as well as lingering leopard print motifs from last season's Rave in the Jungle. That's not necessarily a band thing as it signals Sophia Webster has created signature designs and a body of work which is instantly recognizable and has been replicated around the world but it does beg the question, has she run out of ideas? Or is she simply biding time for her next, big spectacular collection? Time will tell what this British Girl Boss has in store for us but what is certain that the presentation will have enough whimsy to feed your starving inner child.
I found it rather disheartening that Style.com a website which can afford to pay it's writers and whose word is basically gospel to those who are just discovering fashion glazed over the obvious futuristic tones of this collection. They discussed the presentation as a Cirque du Soleil affair which I would agree with but there's so much more going on and I just don't feel like they gave credit where credit was do. Of course I was so fixated with my ideas about science fiction and parallels between The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's Marvin that I missed the obvious references to the most timely of attractions, the circus. I'm both amused and ashamed since it was so obvious especially when one considers those large buttons evoking Pierrot. Still, I remain firm on my stance that perspex spheres which flair at the hips and costumes more like miniature plants complete with their very own orbiting moons were a more prominent theme than the circus. Both were instrumental in shaping this collection as a whole but I choose to more closely align myself with a futuristic vision akin to The Jetsons.
Amongst all the madness of curious shapes and colours you could have been forgiven for overlooking the special guest appearance by Coca Cola. It just goes to show that the corporate giant will pursue all aspects of popular culture including fashion bloggers and the industry as a whole (notably they also teamed up with menswear designer Kit Neale to serve up some kitschy designs printed on silk). Following on from their successful Share a Coke campaign Sophia has featured the design on a pair of her stiletto shoes with matching striped straw high heels to match! I thought the evocation of 1950s diner aesthetic with the heavy branding was a nice touch although one can't help but feel this detracts from the overall message of this collection. Perhaps if there had been a Bye Bye Birdie or Grease themed collection then yes this would have made sense but overall bad timing makes the overall commercialization of the brand even more obvious. For this reason I've excluded them in this post and instead focused on the pastels, weird colours, chopped wigs and clownish make up of the models but you can find these Coca Cola heels under the Details section of Style Bistro.
Unfortunately the best photos were taken on Instagram and I couldn't find a picture of the Avant Garde morphsuit and matching shoes but rest assured they do exist! It's sadly a reflection that although Sophia Webster is a leading practitioner in her field since she creates accessories rather than a collection her brand does not receive the same press or coverage. Accessories should no longer be considered as optional or frivolous additions to an otherwise complete outfit but as necessary. While many people don't leave the house bare foot few consider their options before choosing their shoes for the day (and I am guilty of this as well). In much the same way bags have become objects of utility rather than beauty and day in, day out the same pieces become battered under use and neglect. If however, we chose to variation over necessity I think we would find life that little bit pleasurable. I'm not suggesting the same plush arm bracelets and cone hats that Sophia Webster adopted ion this collection but something extra special can go a long way.