For Fall/Winter 2014, Richard Nicoll abandons his signature minimalism in favor of more advanced notions of pattern making, textured embellishment, and color and texture pairing. In fact, it could be argued that this was his most maximal outing to date. For the forthcoming season, Nicoll tapped into the complicated psyche of a schoolgirl. In the epoch of not-a-girl-not-yet-a-woman challenges, Nicoll’s youthful muse has an optimistic sense of the world. She dresses in a cheery palette of royal blues, rose pinks, and dark purple. Her bifurcated daily life – split between study and play – calls for both suiting and casual separates like knit sweaters and A-line skirts. However, Nicoll takes these traditional notions and updates them, sprucing up separates with patches of leather and pairing jogging jackets with fur collars. A cropped fisherman’s sweater over a clinical white tunic and royal-blue leather culottes felt like a convincing approach to proportions, which also led to an ensemble that was naturally color-blocked. Nicoll also employed gill-like pleating on many of his looks, which added textural dimension without drama. Suits of the pant and skirt variety were a little outsized, lending them a schoolgirl-in-hand-me-downs feel, but the look was modern rather than outmoded as the reference might suggest. Unfortunately, there were a few awkward moments in this collection. On one look, the cut of his wool culottes puckered unnaturally at the crotch, and on another a sort of underarm chiffon paneling wafted in a way that was reminiscent of hair. Nicoll recovers quickly with beautifully tailored pieces like a color-blocked, double-breasted wool coat, a series of drop-waist skirts, and textured gold metallic finishing looks. Even a few kerfuffles along the way couldn’t stop this collection from ending on a high note.
Photos: Courtesy of GoRunway