As fashion designer Richard Nicoll worked on his inaugural menswear collection for Autumn/Winter 2013 (which he showed to considerate critical acclaim during the ‘London Collections: Men’ showcase in January 2013), he ended up finding some of the inspiration to develop his womenswear collection, which he unveiled a few weeks later during London Fashion Week in a runway show styled by Sophia Neophitou in the industrial setting of the Tate Modern gallery. Taking his first men’s collection as a starting point, Nicoll’s Autumn/Winter 2013 womenswear designs were enriched with a menswear sensibility that captured utilitarianism, timelessness luxury, and minimal classical tailoring.
Guided by a personal brief that he named as ‘fabrics in disguise’, Nicoll used fabrics that imitated other fabrics, in a veiled simplicity that ultimately reflected a sophisticated approach to mastering sartorial creativity not only at material level but also conceptually. The elegantly minimal garments (that brought to mind the most accomplished collections by the likes of Giorgio Armani or Celine) resorted to fabrics such as cashmere, angora, nappa leather, jacquard, intarsia herringbone, wool denim, stretch cady, viscose satin, printed crepe and embroidered organza in a variety of greys, blues and whites, custard, orange, vermillion and nude.
The collection’s silhouettes revealed the inspiration of traditional male tailoring in stark opposition to feminine shapes, with wide pants, suits, all-in-ones with dropped waist lines, skirts with flowing effects made possible by carefully positioned slits and accentuated waist lines that contrasted with boxier masculine shapes. However, it was the final section of the show, with its incredibly feminine dresses made from layers of embroidered organza, that Richard Nicoll confirmed himself as one of the most talented fashion designers currently working from London.