Lines We Love: Nicholas Kirkwood

- By Nausheen Shah - 

Throughout history, man has been known to reinvent all walks of life.   Some have chosen to reinvent the automobile, while others have chosen the bicycle.  Well meet the man who has taken the most basic means of transportation and reinvented it into a constant transforming piece of art.  His name is Nicholas Kirkwood and his specialty is the heel.

Whether it is abnormally curved , plexiglass, metal waves or donning a ruffle, Nicholas Kirkwood has become a master of evolving the heel in ways unimaginable.  But to limit Kirkwood to the heel would be frivolous as he is also the master of platforms, covering it in anything from contrasting metallics to lining it with pearls.

As a graduate of Central Saint Martins, Kirkwood jump-started his career by working as a salesman for legendary British milliner Philip Treacy in 1999.  Here, Kirkwood took away the philosophy of always staying true to himself and never designing to appeal to the masses.  He would rather “mean more to less people than not very much to a lot of people.”

In a constant effort to be original and new without referring to past vintage styles, Kirkwood’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection is a symbol of this mantra.  He was largely inspired by Hokusai’s famous giant wave painting “The Great Wave of Kanagawa,” which is displayed on platforms and built in the shape of his overall architectural design.  His color-happy hues are soaked in isle colors ranging from aquamarine and cerulean blue to lime green and poppy red.

In addition to his customers, it seems that Kirkwood fans also lie in the form of other designers themselves.  Peter Pilotto, Erdem, and Prabal Gurung are just a few of the designers who collaborate with Kirkwood for their own collections.  In addition, Kirkwood serves as the Creative Director of Pollini, having single handily revived the Italian brand with his avant-garde touch.

Nicholas Kirkwood may not produce the most fundamental footwear for our everyday needs, but he does provide us with a pretty little specimen suitable for an art gallery.  Afterall, his intention is not to reinvent the wheel, but rather reinvent the heel.

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Nausheen Shah is a New York based fashion designer turned stylist/creative consultant who has worked for the likes of Catherine Malandrino and Zac Posen.  In her travels, Nausheen’s love of language, cuisine, art and interior design flourished, informing her unique, distinctive, and global style.  She also runs her own ‘fashion as a lifestyle’ blog – A Shah’s Life and can be followed on Facebook @nausheenshahstylist and Twitter @nausheenshah
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