When looking for a venue in central London to host the runway show for her Spring/Summer 2013 menswear collection, Nicole Farhi found in the elegant Florence Hall within the headquarters of the Royal Institute of British Architects an extremely suitable option. With it numerous splendid Art Deco features, the building evokes a gone-by era of architectural development in British seaside towns and of collective appreciation for the interiors of hotels, cinemas and cruise liners as physical settings for relaxation and playfulness, a notion that ultimately underlied Farhi’s collection. In addition, the light earth, wood, and marble tones of the venue’s majestic interiors provided an adroit background for the presentation of a range of garments where muted hues prevailed and reinterpretations of classic relaxed menswear abounded.
Conceived by Massimo Nicosia, who has been leading the menswear department at Nicole Farhi for four seasons, the collection was produced in collaboration with Sunspel, an English manufacturer of underwear and basic garments for men, and drew inspiration from activities performed while on holiday in British seaside towns. The colour palette mirrored this atmosphere by featuring chalk white, shades of blue, straw beige, pebble stone, indigo, pepper grey, terracotta, and burgundy. Light textured fabrics such as thin cottons, silk, and raffia type fabrics prevailed throughout and displayed patterns such as minute florals, wide stripes that evoked beach tents and deck chairs, and detailed geometric designs that resembled patterns found in nature.
Jackets with relaxed tailoring lines, cotton blousons and lightweight coats covered items of a casual nature such as tank tops, shorts, undershirts, jumpsuits, pyjama shirts, short-sleeved shirts, granddad collar shirts, and trousers with elasticised waists and ankles. Strong knitwear pieces included grid effects and textural flecks influenced by the intricate basket weave of armchairs, and quilted blazers lined with white terry towelling fabrics and adorned with white piping provided layering options for cool British summer nights. A partnership with footwear brand Trickers resulted in a range of quintessentially British brogues reinterpreted to contemporary style preferences by mixing contrasting colours or including details such as detachable tongues.