Richard Nicoll Menswear Spring Summer 2014 London
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A designer rarely associated with an affinity to black, Richard Nicoll took us by surprise with a series of sporty leather-heavy basics that opened his SS14 show. While still marked by the alluring clarity of his point view, these sportswear separates had an added bite and sex appeal; think high school jock meets the vampire Lestat (especially as incarnated by Stuart Townsend).

As the collection progressed, there was a more solid return of Nicoll trademarks: luxurious tees and shorts (this time in silky python jacquard), butter-soft leathers in fleshier, brighter tones (the milky-beige and grey trousers being particular standouts) and the designer’s signature jumpsuit, in dark and light versions. The collection’s trophy pieces, however, would indisputably have to be the printed tops, anoraks and bombers, adding hidden kinky subtexts in the otherwise sober, clear-cut silhouettes. Designed in collaboration with artist Linder Sterling, the prints fused snakes and birds with images of gay porn from a Barcelona bookshop.

Adding a sensual, subversive edge to casual American-style sportswear (complete with Jack Purcell Converse sneakers), Nicoll once again demonstrated his irresistible skill in adding depth to seemingly placid exteriors. It’s a good direction, and one that certainly leaves a desire to get closer.

- Maria Dimitrova
 

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