Intended to evoke a feeling of 'well-earned frivolity', Richard Nicoll's latest collection took its inspiration from a book of late 19th century Tahitian photography, specifically the prints, sarongs and grass skirts worn by female islanders. In Nicoll's hands, traditional Tahitian styles were given luxe treatment, replacing grass with grosgrain ribbon and rows of fringing, incorporating corsetry and his trademark slouch tailoring. This particular point of reference was actually nothing new, having influenced Nicoll's Resort collection, which saw him debut grosgrain 'grass skirts', fringed scarves, knotted-waists and medal brooches courtesy of Erickson Beamon. It can be risky to stick with such a specific starting point from one collection to the next but here Nicoll demonstrated how fulfilling it can be to witness the progression of one idea, learning which elements the designer decided were worthy of development. Refined and focused, Nicoll's Spring/Summer collection saw him adopt a decidedly more sophisticated colour palette -baby pink, lilac, silver, navy blue, tobacco, urban grey and earth green- often favouring one-colour looks and delicate botanical prints were introduced to suit jackets, cocktail dresses and shirts. Fringing, which before featured on scarves, was added to bandeau tops, around the waist and on skirts, bringing satisfying movement; less successful were the lampshade-like hats and fringed earrings. The collection also revealed an exercise in strap possibilities, each of the options drawing attention to the shoulder area, most interestingly the fringed arm bands and shoulder straps with looped ribbon detailing.
The collection revealed an exercise in strap possibilities.