Nicholas Kirkwood has never been one to follow the rules. For spring ’19, he switched up his customary presentation format for a theatrical runway extravaganza set in a futuristic police state, and this season was all change once more.
For fall ’19, he staged an under-the-radar showcase in Paris for buyers. Moving through time and space, the collection evokes 1980s New York and the buzz of L.A. (where the designer spends much of his time) alongside Hong Kong neons and the Shanghai skyline.
The designer drew inspiration also from Asian cinema (Wong Kar Wai’s “2046” and “Fallen Angels”) and U.S.-based independent movies such as Slava Tsukerman’s “Liquid Sky.”
This played out in cantilevered boots in a monochrome flocked effect, while pumps and slingbacks in shiny degradé patent came in sunset orange and cerulean blue. Even Kirkwood’s signature pearl motif got into the spirit of things. “We turned it into a disco ball,” he said of mirrored versions nestled beneath some of his heels.
Other new styles were developed from one-off pieces created for his spring ’19 show — not least exaggerated splayed heels and futuristic sneakers with harness overlays.
Following the departure of CEO Sophie Brocart, who has moved to spearhead the relaunch of Jean Patou, the brand has recently hired Nina Zukanovic, an executive within Kirkwood’s parent company, LVMH. “She’s a merchandising specialist and super-bright,” he said. “She’s going to be a great partner for us.”
Kirkwood told FN last season that he had decided to present a major show annually in September. “The concept is still in its infancy,” he said, “but it’s going to be quite epic.”