“The Dark Matter” collection of Nicholas Kirkwood
For Autumn Winter 2017, Nicholas Kirkwood sees a convergence of influences; exploring the dynamism of the 80s French Electro and English New Wave music scenes as well as the futuristic yet irreverent mood of the 80s era’s design aesthetic. The merging of the two results in a sophisticated, geometric, yet graphic concept. The collection also takes strong influence from the sculptures and installations of artists Jeppe Hein and Daniel Buren as well as the photography of Helmut Newton.
For this season, the color palette is predominantly monochrome. New geometric lines, a metallic cage Plexi-heel and a plethora of unusual fabrications reinforce Kirkwood’s innovative use of new techniques fused with luxurious materials.
To communicate the essence of the Dark Matter collection Kirkwood has collaborated with burgeoning film director
Rei Nadal to create a short film of the same name, shot in black and white in a triptych format. London based model Jess Maybury is the Dark Matter film’s protagonist personifying the irreverently feminine Kirkwood woman as she strides around an arresting, graphic scene of linear forms and geometric caging created by set designer Andrea Cellerino.
Annabel, a high-heeled biker boot is a new silhouette for the season. A tough rubber tread sole is offset with a large hidden-pearl behind the heel, a hexagon gold buckle fastening and gold line heel piece detail, creating the interesting tension between the masculine and feminine omnipresent in Kirkwood’s work.
Labyrinth are new fashion styles borrowing their moniker from the cult 1980s British-American film.
A striking new Plexi heel in this group is encased in laser etched gold brass forming a geometric architecturally-influenced pattern. Uppers are either all black suede or come with an eye-catching contrast white, linear detailing.
Pearlogy is a group that is new but has the hallmarks of Kirkwood’s classic design insignias with a half pearl detail inlaid into a metal frame, being used in both a functional and decorative way. A new high-top sneaker style with a thick rubber sole comes in all black, all white or a stand-out soft blush.
The evolution of both the Ziggy and Zaha groups for this season sees them take on some of the interesting fabrications running through the whole collection. Zaha’s signature Plexi column heel is cloudy with the silver storm like flecks; uppers are glittering dark ‘galaxy’ Lurex and silver mirror-smooth Specchio leather. Ziggy debuts a striking open-toed ankle bootie in softest black Nappa with a gathered detail around the ankle which fastens with a signature knotted strap.
Dark Matter isn’t just the name Kirkwood gave this collection and its accompanying short film, it’s also used to describe one of the key stand-out fabrications this season. Dark Matter is a black glittering slightly stretchy fabric that looks almost like a soft tinsel. This new fabric is used to create an interesting sock-boot in new pearl group Lola and then in the ubiquitous Casati group for a slip-on mule. There is also a similar fabrication that is soft matte Lurex used in a thigh-high biker boot, worn by Jess Maybury in a lot of the Dark Matter film shots.
These highlighted elements for Autumn Winter 2017 emphasize the irreverently feminine spirit of the brand. Kirkwood’s development of signature styles and codes peppered with interesting new seasonal elements forms a focused, forward-thinking and stand out the collection.