DANCING QUEEN: British accessories designer Sophia Webster has always been known for using her seasonal presentations as a platform to bring her fantasy-filled, flamboyant world alive.
For fall, she went all out: she transformed the Café Royal’s Pompadour ballroom into a scene from Baz Luhrmann’s “Strictly Ballroom” — one of her favorite films — complete with tinsel curtains, giant revolving disco balls, crystals and feathers galore.
Webster, who danced competitively in her youth, said this was a very personal collection. “I was drawn to the costumes, the competition, everything. It was mine and my sister’s favorite film when we were younger, so I wanted to revisit it with a dance competition-inspired collection. It helps when something feels authentic to me.”
Guests were greeted with a playful neon sign that read: “I don’t need a mango to tango,” before being immersed into the sparkly world of competitive dancing. There were shelves filled with dance competition trophies placed next to crystal-embellished heeled sandals, models on podiums who danced in their feather-embellished ankle boots and professional Latin dancers performing in front of a glittering Coca-Cola banner — part of a collaboration with the designer.
Webster noted that the brand’s evening collection has been performing particularly strongly, so she wanted to add embellishments and had fun playing with marabou feathers and crystals.
She pointed to a pair of caged ankle boots featuring feathers and crystal-embellished PVC straps as one of the most technically challenging piece to construct. Other highlights were metallic gold sandals covered with fruit-shaped crystals, ankle boots with removable diamanté straps and a pair of laser-cut gold strappy heels.
The range’s bag offer, a newer category for the designer, focused on classic shapes such as speech bubble leather clutches and minaudières updated with sequined tassels, gold sculpted handles and feather trims.