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Shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood, whose shoes are often red carpet darlings, is outside on a recent day, serenely puffing away on a cigarette. His office, it turns out, is empty (most of his team is in Paris showcasing the label’s latest collection),...

Shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood on why there should be bold footwear at the Oscars and on other red carpets

Shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood, whose shoes are often red carpet darlings, is outside on a recent day, serenely puffing away on a cigarette. His office, it turns out, is empty (most of his team is in Paris showcasing the label’s latest collection),...

Shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood on why there should be bold footwear at the Oscars and on other red carpets

Shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood, whose shoes are often red carpet darlings, is outside on a recent day, serenely puffing away on a cigarette. His office, it turns out, is empty (most of his team is in Paris showcasing the label’s latest collection), and Kirkwood is not only happy to chat but, at times, very indiscreet, for example, dismissing Oscars fashion as being “quite predictable.”

“It just looks dated,” he says, adding that celebrities should be a bit more daring and wear looks they really like.

Although only 36, Kirkwood — who sold a majority stake in the label to French conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton in 2013 — has been a red carpet staple for years (he started his brand in 2005) and has developed strong links with the West Coast, despite closing his Las Vegas store last year. 

When he’s in SoCal, Kirkwood says he usually rents a house or follows in the footsteps of his heroes Helmut Newton and Led Zeppelin by staying at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood. “I’d love to be able to spend more time out there if I could,” he says.

He describes Los Angeles style as “either really casual or really dressed up and nothing in between,” which, he adds, has also become increasingly popular in London and New York.

Kirkwood points out it’s now common to see fashion week attendees wearing sneakers at shows, which would have been unheard of five or six years ago. “And then people still love to dress up in the evening,” he says. “So there’s this kind of two-step way of dressing.” (As a nod to this casual era, Kirkwood, whose shoes range from about $500 to about $2,000, has introduced a sneaker into his collection for the first time this season.)

Sneakers might be good for a quick bite in West Hollywood but they’re not red carpet ideal. And with this Oscars weekend, Kirkwood says it’s a good thing shoe designers don’t usually pay for red carpet patronage as some jewelry brands allegedly have in previous years. It would be “a bit of a bum deal” if shoe designers had to, says Kirkwood, given that heels are inevitably always a runner-up to the gown when it comes to media coverage.

“Half the time you can’t even see the shoes. So they could just be wearing sneakers underneath their dress,” he quips. “I would love it to be, like, ‘Major shoes and quite a simple dress’” — he suggests, for example, his $1,895 thigh-high leather Casati boots with pearl-embellished block heels — “but [stylists] don’t tend to go for that.”

So what would be a bold move for the red carpet?

I mean, I would love to see someone wear boots on the red carpet. I don't think for the Oscars. I think that’s a bit too daring. I mean, you see it at the Met Gala.

Like thigh-high boots?

You could do [those] or something — some amazing, like, worker boots or something even like my Casati boot. It’d have to be someone daring enough to do that, but I think it’ll probably be frowned upon.

Is it important for shoe labels to be worn at the Oscars?

Only if you’ve got something like the Angelina Jolie dress where it splits up the side and her shoe is sticking out … No, of course, it’s great to be involved in that. It’s great to be considered for that, but also it’s not just the Oscars. There are so many events around the Oscars and where I mean [the clothes are] not always quite so full-length. Obviously, you’ve got the Golden Globes but you’ve got the Independent Spirit Awards.… There’s a lot of other events happening and also even just like the parties and stuff like that. There’s a lot of opportunity for shoes to be seen so … It’s definitely a busy season for us.

Do red carpet shoes need to be comfortable?

I mean, I try to make them comfortable! I’m not here to torture my wearers, unlike some designers. But, yeah, girls will suck it up if they have to … It depends how high they want the heel. There’s only realistically how comfortable a very high heel can actually be even if you’re standing on a sponge, you know. Just how long you can actually keep that up. I think they do tend to walk very slowly. Also because they like to get papped [that is, photographed by paparazzi] and the quicker they go, the less they get papped, so it’s a very slow walk and a stop. So you’ve got lots of time to rest, and then they get to sit down for about five hours, at which time they can kick off their shoes, massage their feet and start tweeting or whatever.

Actor Danny Trejo's restaurant, Trejo's Cantina, serves up a healthful and tasty vegan taco -- roasted cauliflower and grilled corn with cashews.

Actor Danny Trejo's restaurant, Trejo's Cantina, serves up a healthful and tasty vegan taco -- roasted cauliflower and grilled corn with cashews.

Actor Danny Trejo's restaurant, Trejo's Cantina, serves up a healthful and tasty vegan taco -- roasted cauliflower and grilled corn with cashews.

Actor Danny Trejo's restaurant, Trejo's Cantina, serves up a healthful and tasty vegan taco -- roasted cauliflower and grilled corn with cashews.

Steven Wilson, a doctor in the MDVIP network made up of concierge physicians, creates an annual “business plan” for improving each patient’s overall health.

Steven Wilson, a doctor in the MDVIP network made up of concierge physicians, creates an annual “business plan” for improving each patient’s overall health.

Actress Shalita Grant talks about health and exercise.  (Video by Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Actress Shalita Grant talks about health and exercise.  (Video by Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

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Toughest L.A. workouts: Training Mates

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Michelle and Dennis Madden of Irvine show us their e-bikes.  (Video by Allen J. Schaben)

image@latimes.com

@latimesimage

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Publish Date : 24 Şubat 2017 Cuma 06:16

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