Along with making ridiculously sexy heels that pretty ladies love to wear–from both his main line collection and his B Brian Atwood diffusion line–shoe designer Brian Atwood has entered the mini-movie business. Well, sort of. Unveiled in November, the B Brian Atwood “Vibrant Tears Killer Heels” video basically represents color-blocking through, well, a model crying candy-colored paint tears all over her smoking hot and unclothed body, to finally drip onto a diabolical Resort ’11 platform pump. Now the dishy designer is at it again with a racy new vid promoting another pair of come-hither fringed strappies for his Spring ‘12 B collection.
We were lucky enough to receive an exclusive invitation to drop by the steamy video shoot at Triad, a teeny burlesque-style theater located above a Turkish restaurant on W. 72nd Street (who knew?). We arrived as a very leggy model was in full rehearsal mode, shaking her groove thing in killer heels and lingerie for the directors. All in a day’s work. Then we headed upstairs to the balcony overlooking the action for a nice chat with the dreamy Atwood (honestly, his handsomeness is distracting). Keep an eye out for the completed video in January 2012, but in the meantime, here are the designer’s thoughts on his B line, Manolo Blahnik’s well-documented hatred of platforms, and that notorious Hollywood diva – Miss Piggy:
Fashionista: What was your inspiration behind this B Brian Atwood Spring 2012 video?
Brian Atwood: This one is the next video in a series after “Vibrant Tears Killer Heels” and it’s called “Untamed.” It was definitely inspired by the metal fringe shoes because we wanted to give it this raw sensuality. We felt that dancing was a perfect way to express that mesmerizing detail – that seduction – that fringe has in luring you in. There’s also this voyeuristic, “I’m in it somehow” feel. Like she’s pleasing someone, but you don’t know who it is. She’s just having a ball in her shoes.
So how did you select the model, Karen?
The important thing was that she could move obviously, and we had seen a lot of girls. She had to be confident, beautiful, sexy and I think the important thing is that she was uninhibited. She would be dancing and just have that essence of the “B” girl – this free spirit and worldly globetrotter.
So between your main line Brian Atwood collection and the B Brian Atwood diffusion line, do you have any different personal design processes?
I do have different teams. The main line is in Milan, but actually all my team here is Italian – mainly Italians – and some Americans. I think the collection is definitely in-your-face-glamour. There’s nothing really not sexy or glamorous about it. I think B can also be urban, a little easier sometimes to wear. I think that they could be the same woman and in certain instances they are buying the same shoes, but my design process is always about love, listening to music, color and just always inspired by touch, sensation.
Do you look to different areas of inspiration for the two lines?
I do. I think it turns out to be different once we get more into the actual designing of the shoes. But, it’s always going to be sexy. There’s a common denominator in both, but I definitely try to keep them a little separate so we see the difference.
Speaking of sexy, your platform designs – like the Maniac – are incredibly hot. People can’t get enough of them. So we’re curious – what’s your thought on Manolo Blahnik’s very vocal animosity toward the platform heel?
Manolo, he’s done a certain shoe and I commend him. He’s a great designer and one of my mentors and inspirations from when I started and I think people do what they feel. I’m sure he did them in the past. But I think they’re here to stay, especially for women because they’re so used to being put on these pedestals. Everyone’s wearing them and it’s hard to walk into a party and you feel so short. I feel short!
So platforms always cycle out every other decade or so, but this time they seem to be sticking around. What’s your prediction on that?
I think that nowadays it’s not about one thing is right, one thing is wrong. Women will always have a platform in their wardrobe. It’s never going to be completely ‘out’. Maybe you’ll see the single sole like it is now being revisited and it looks good, it looks fresh because we’ve been so platform heavy. But I think it’s good to have both, there’s a time for both, and especially with certain outfits and silhouettes.
Kristen Stewart is a huge fan of your platform designs. Earlier this month, she wore a pair of your Marcella heels to her Hollywood Walk of Fame handprint ceremony and she was photographed swapping them out for a pair of checkered Vans. What was going on there?
She had to take them off. She didn’t want to ruin them, because they were velvet.
Ohhh, we’re glad you cleared that up. So it wasn’t because the shoes were uncomfortable?
No, no, no. Not at all. She didn’t want to ruin the velvet. I thought she would have gone barefoot, but I guess they had to be in shoes. She didn’t want to put cement feet [in the heels].
Okay, the question that everyone wants to ask. What was it like creating heels for Miss Piggy for the November InStyle fashion spread? Was she a diva?
Oh my god. SUCH a diva. Her handlers… Before I even started the first sketch, I had a list of what she likes, photographs of her feet in certain shoes….I’m serious. Literally, we had a whole sheet – two pages – of what she likes, what her feet look like…she doesn’t like closed toe because her feet look chunky…they hang over the pump…she prefers strappy with adjustments…It’s true. Yeah, she was a diva, but it was definitely worth the shot.
Did she return the shoes?
She is returning the shoes. That’s what I asked. I said, ‘you have to return the shoes’, they will. I think they’re doing a little tour with some Today show or something, but I’m getting those shoes back.