The shoe queen whisks us Away With The Fairies at LFW.
Breathtaking and ethereal with an otherworldly beauty – as one might expect given the label’s back catalogue – for SS18 Sophia Webster takes a journey akin only to tumbling down a rabbit hole or voyaging through the back of a magical wardrobe. Truly the stuff of fairytales, we had a quick chat with Sophia in the midst of her LFW presentation, Away With The Fairies.
What was the inspiration behind this collection?
The inspiration was the Cottingley fairies which happened in 1917. There were these two girls who took pictures of cardboard cut-out fairies at the end of their garden. It was a big hoax basically, and everybody in the country and all of the newspapers believed that fairies were real when these two little girls had actually just played a prank – it just blew up out of control! It wasn’t for years after that they admitted it was a hoax, so everyone in the country thought that fairies were real.
And what drew you to that story?
I think just the fantasy and they fact that they got away with it and every one just believed. I really love that they fooled everyone and for that time everyone just wanted to believe in fairies no matter who you were.
And you referenced a book too?
Yeah, Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker which I really love. Those were the main inspirations visually so from that I wanted to create like, a fairy woodland wonderland.
Do you have a favourite SS18 design?
I really love the wooden clog with the rose gold fairy nestled within the back, I love that one. The crystal boot as well, that took a long time to develop, prototypes go back and forth until it works. It’s quite hard to fit a knee high with that much going on because you have to get the pattern right and then the crystals right so it takes a lot of back and forth but we’re pretty organised these days so that’s good!
You’ve had some amazing collaborations up to now, are there more in the pipeline?
I loved doing the Puma collaboration, that was awesome. For this collection we actually collaborated with Alex Monroe on the jewellery, we made the pixie ear cuff.
And how was working with jewellery for the first time?
It was really cool. I had this idea that I wanted to create these pixie ears and coordinate jewellery into it. They approached us and the timing was just right. I love Alex Monroe, I wear this [a rose gold Flying Bee pendant] every day. People always ask me what I can’t live without and it would be this, I’ve got a little girl called Bibi and my husband bought me this bee when we had her so I wear it like my lucky charm.
Finally, what’s been the highlight of this collection for you?
Seeing the set come together was amazing, I love working with Shona Heath. Leith Clark did the styling as well – seeing all the elements come together is definitely a highlight. Michael van der Ham worked with me on the dresses. Seeing all the elements come together is just really special.