Richard Nicoll and Walt Disney don’t spring to mind as obvious bedfellows, but it was Disney sponsorship that put Tinker Bell at the heart of Nicoll’s new collection. Brooding over a contemporary equivalent of the fairy who doesn’t age, he came up with Kate Moss, and the collection unfolded from there as a sort of rummage in Kate’s closet, from sporty short shorts to languid bias-cut evening dresses.
This soup-to-nuts cycle was broader than anything Nicoll has shown before. “It’s my lifestyle approach,” he said. Some lifestyle. Tinker Bell manifested in the opener, a slipdress ethereally illuminated with a filigree of fiber optics by Studio XO, a London-based company that has made costumes for Lady Gaga. Then the show got back to terra firma as Nicoll collaborated with Sweaty Betty, the U.K.’s biggest activewear brand. His signature body consciousness has always had a strongly sporty undertow. Here, he was imagining “clothes you could wear to a bar, then run home in.” A striped bandeau and matching shorts fitted that bill. So did jazzy little gingham pieces, like the hoodie over an aerodynamically slashed dress in cotton jersey.
But that furiously active notion was countered by a meditative mood—Laurie Anderson on the soundtrack; long, draped dresses in dreamy lilac or sheer, faded paisley on the catwalk. There was a silvery sheen to the collection—and then, hand-crocheted pieces, deliberately dishabille. Mandalas, then metallic parkas. The breadth had to be applauded. After all, Nicoll has stitched himself into more than one cul-de-sac in the past.
He took his bow with a knapsack on his back. Places to go…that seemed about right as a summation of the collection he’d just shown.