Richard Nicoll was out to seduce with his S/S 14 menswear offering. A perfect balance between dark and light, the collection marked a new direction for Nicoll in its inclusion of black - the opening looks featured no colour at all. If all that leather felt a little imposing for summer, the following looks in creamy cerulean and shimmering metallics gave the showing a softer edge.
Nicoll has been working with artist Linder Sterling for a while now, and this season marked the start of S/HE, a counter label collaboration for men and women featuring pieces sporting her collages as prints. On the S/S 14 menswear runway these collages included erotic gay imagery, which came emblazoned on sweatshirts and bombers. While those pieces showed Linder's influence directly, the sensuality and irreverence of her work ran through the entire collection - see the nods to gay club culture dressing with the sheer mesh sweaters and leather gilets.
The strength of this collection came in the subtlety of Nicoll's subversion. It's apt that he billed it as a celebration of the 'outsider', as for a few season's now Nicoll's been the unsung talent of the London scene, hindered by not quite seeming able to properly find his groove and overshadowed by the hoopla surrounding other designers of his generation. This collection didn't shout or scream, but it made enough of an impact with its quiet brilliance to silence any doubters.