Motown and Hitchcock come together in Sophia Webster’s tropical paradise for SS17.
Birds of paradise
Sophia Webster knows how to entertain and how to lift the spirits of the exhausted fashion pack on day four of LFW. Her SS17 collection, titled ‘Dolly Birds of Paradise,’ provided a much welcome sanctuary from the drab English weather outside, the exotic set up giving everyone a much needed rejuvenation. Entering the space at The Elms Lesters Painting Rooms was like looking through a kaleidoscope. Rich colours, shimmering crystals, graphic patterns, peacock feathers, flamingos and the signature butterflies exploded before our eyes all at once. Then the golden, 19th century bird cages appeared, filled with the new season’s treasure box shoes, lining our path toward the pièce de résistance – two models covered in feathers of all colours posing as the rarest birds in an enormous cage. It being the flamboyant Sophia Webster, however, there was more to feast our eyes on in two other rooms. The bird cages became neon, the models, swinging in their own cages, turned from birds of paradise to the dolly birds Webster named her collection after, the tropical experience becoming more and more intense.
Aside from the bird imagery, taken from the Hitchcock horror classic, Webster was inspired by her love for 60s music, Diana Ross, The Supremes, The Shirelles and Martha Reeves and The Vandellas were quoted in articular. The vibrant colours, mini skirts, feather-adorned cover-ups, turbans, white gloves and dangly earrings complemented the fabulous shoe and bag collection any Motown star would be lusting over (or any other girl for that matter). For SS17, Webster has considerably expanded her offering of heel heights, styles, and even showed a few mini-me designs inspired by her adorable little girl. So there were the platform sandals encrusted with crystals or rendered in the most stunning jungle-worthy prints, the skyscraper stilettos in sunset orange and even the over-the-knee, cut out broderie anglaise boots made an appearance again, this time in pastel pink, black or silver. But Webster’s designs are so delicious that we want to wear them all the time. Cue the jungle print slip-ons, the black sandals adorned with gold, perplex and black crystals or in sculpted gold, the comfortable chunky heel in either perspex or with clusters of primary-coloured stones and beads, there were even pairs pool slides with blooming exotic flowers. Sophia Webster SS17 answers your every shoe desire.
Each design was also accompanied by its own, matching hand bag. There were some day bags, in beautiful turquoise or tan leather, with just a hint of humour appearing on the neon, woven handle and in the lining. Of course, the famous speech bubble bags and the little clutches were not left behind this season. Inspired by lyrics of Webster’s favourite 60s girl bands, you could take your pick from phrases such as ‘Dolled Up’, ‘Respect’, ‘Sweet Talk’, ‘Baby Love’ and ‘Swing My Way’ sprawled across them. Complete with the 60s favourite sphere clasps, Webster ensured that all her customers will feel like a Motown diva.