If Sophia Webster’s last collection was all about doing your best Cher Horowitz impression while strutting down the tiles at your local mall, this season is all about getting lost in the imaginative and colorful realm of nature. Literally! For her presentation, Sophia let herself walk on the wild side, creating a scene that was straight out of Alice in Wonderland or the most far out Dr. Seuss tale called “Insect Slumber Party.” It was a whimsical presentation, complete with flower-twined daybeds and Cindy Lou-Who hair; the models (thankfully) didn’t resemble bugs in the slightest, though the apparel definitely evoked patterns found in the outdoors, specifically channeling the beauty of the butterfly.
The butterfly was transformed most frequently and in a myriad of ways. Delicate laser cut butterfly wings construct intense gladiator knee-high boots or land on the back of stellar pumps, while the ornate patterns of the wings are found in patent and matte leather renditions. It’s unsurprising that these are some of the most inspired pieces of the collection, as she constructed an entire shoe line while studying at RCA.
Not to rely on nature alone (Sophia Webster isn’t Sophia Webster without prints, prints, and more prints), this collection is also rife with kooky combinations of natural and manufactured prints – a butterfly’s wings juxtaposed against vibrant polka dots, PVC with iridescent leather, stripes with flower petals, and would-be-basic pumps tread into statement making territory with the use of alphabet beads stacked to become a totally killer heel. Heels weren’t the only soles with an attitude, because there, along the foliage and heart prints, were speech bubble slogans emblazoned on the tops of sandals, proclaiming such things as “Here Comes the Hotstepper” and “Walk the Walk”. Those very watchwords are also found on other accessories like handbags and backpacks.
Our favorite? Though we can’t resist the charm of a sassy slogan or the allure of intricate laser cuts, we’re completely in love with her cloud pattern, amped up with a 3D embroidered trim. It’s the perfect blend of charm and quirk that makes a pair of shoes constantly rotate into your weekly rotation.
Although her eponymous line is somewhat new, Sophia Webster’s 2013 hinted at her coming success. With a wildly successful J.Crew collaboration under her belt, winning the prestigious “Emerging Accessories Designer” award at the British Fashion Awards, and this stunning start to the 2014 year, it’s clear that her career will flourish like this collection.
Alana red, baby blue & black stripe sandal with multicolor beaded fringe; Amina asymmetric cut d’Orsay ankle-strap pump
Aldora peep-toe patent leather pump with a laser-cut butterfly attached to the heel
Andie ankle-strap sandal in colorful PVC with polka dot appliqué and beaded heel
Athena laser-cut butterfly-inspired thigh-high sandal boot; Electra laser-cut patent leather sandal bootie
Brandy leather cage sandal with small studs and patent leather toe; available in a knee-high style at Saks Fifth Avenue
Chiara ankle-strap sandal with a thin toe strap, pin heel and butterfly heel
Cleo d’Orsay ankle-strap pump with an asymmetric cut front, pin heel and butterfly heel
Finn lace-up & buckled sandal in colorful matte satin and pink heart print
Elle butterfly-inspired matte satin pump with rhinestone trim; Lyla slingback pump with a pin heel
Kelly embroidered speech bubble round-toe pump with a cylinder heel
Kimimi laser-cut patent leather open-toe mule with a lace-up front and pin heel; available in pink patent leather at Neiman Marcus
Lula ankle-strap sandal in patent leather with a 4″ heart beaded heel; available at Nordstrom
Lyla red patent leather pump with a v-cut front and alphabet beaded “killer” pin heel; available in black patent leather at Nordstrom
Oprah slingback sandals with an embroidered speech bubble attached to the front straps
Sklya patent leather pump with embroidered white cloud appliqué and pin heel
Skye patent leather strappy mule sandal with a clear acrylic heel and white cloud appliqué; available at Net-A-Porter
Suki flatform open-toe sandal with an adjustable ankle-strap and v-cut front
Tyra mixed media pointed-toe slingback pump with a heart beaded pin heel
Written by Shannon Weston