Designer of fancy footwear Nicholas Kirkwood founded his eponymous line in 2005, having been inspired by time spent working in milliner Philip Treacy’s atelier and realising someone should be creating shoes with as much impact as a statement hat.
Now, nearly a decade later, multi-coloured, multi-textured shoes have become a firm fashion favourite – from high-end to the high street.
It’s in a fantasy rather than real life that most people get to wear shiny shoes in chartreuse silk or neon pink and blue patent leather every day but a pair of show-stopping shoes is one purchase that will get plenty of mileage.
In terms of outfit-building, it’s best to ignore the question of what goes with a pair and instead embrace a mix-and-match attitude that will see you teaming a pair of statement pumps with a little black dress and black tights, say, or – as per the current style fad – baggy ripped jeans rolled up at the hems. Just add a slick of lipstick and a pair of earrings to pull the whole look together. A key proponent of it is Jenna Lyons of J Crew, and unsurprisingly, the US import is a great place to start if you’re looking to inject some oomph into your shoe collection. Nicholas Kirkwood’s command of a bold colour palette isn’t restricted to towering heels, either.
He has incorporated lower, blocky heels and even flats into his covetable repertoire, while his protégée Sophia Webster has added plenty of east London irreverence to her burgeoning shoe line, with bubblegum pink and polkadot prints thrown in for good measure.
As can be expected, the high street has picked up on the trend and there is something to suit almost every taste, from chunky flats with thick, multi-coloured straps to more dainty court shoes with spindly heels. Whichever style you go for, prepare yourself for as many admiring-glances as if you were wearing an Ascot-worthy hat.