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Nicholas Kirkwood collaborates with Hannah Lees

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

13 Jul 2018


Footwear and accessories designer Nicholas Kirkwood has announced that he is collaborating with British artist Hannah Lees on his new autumn/winter 2018 collection, as part of his ‘Nicholas Kirkwood presents’ series of creative partnerships.

The creative pop-up collaborations were launched in the brand’s flagship London boutique on Mount Street in October 2017, and have seen the Mayfair store transformed by artist Haroon Mirza and New York-based jewellery designer Eva Fehren, and next up is British artist Hannah Lees, who uses natural vegetable dyes to create transfigured textures on silk that give the appearance of a deconstruction and natural decay of the original materials.

For Kirkwood’s autumn/winter 2018 collection ‘Imperfect Tension’, he has created a new mule group, the ‘Courtney’ with Lees, which features a printed silk fabric scrunchie upper and a plexiglass heel, which comes in a variety of colours including black, white, lime and lavender.

The Courtney features “transfigured texture prints" created by Lee, which she creates using a process she terms “pickling’, where silk cloths were bundled-up with organic matter, such as eucalyptus leaves, annatto seeds, koji red rice and onion skins, and then placed in a jar with some ash and vinegar and water, sometimes with a copper penny or aluminium foil and then sealed.

The jars are left for a 3 to 4 month period while the fabrics pickle. The process is then often repeated using the same cloth several times to achieve the desired effect, sometimes taking the artist a year to reach the finished state, which was digitally printed on to the silk used to make the scrunchie detailing.

To coincide with the collaboration, Lees has also created a mural painting directly on to the walls, floor and furniture in the ‘Nicholas Kirkwood Presents...’ space. The ‘paint’ used for the mural is formed of natural ‘wine lees’, leftover yeast particles from autolysis which is the self-destruction of yeast cells by enzymes created from fermentation. To complete the installation the pickled cloths used to create the digital prints for the Courtney mules are framed and hung on the walls of the space.

Images: courtesy of Nicholas Kirkwood

Hannah Lees
Nicholas Kirkwood