Richard Nicoll summed himself up in a quirk of his own collection for spring 2015: a double-faced silk/chiffon detail on vests and gowns, one spaghetti strap off the shoulder to expose a contrasting inner, navy on black.
You see? Multi-faceted, unexpected, more than meets the eye. That was this collection in synecdoche. Elegance was given a sportswear makeover in silk trenchcoats worn with camisoles and shorts, jewelled crop tops and the sharpest of tailoring which was nevertheless all practicality and ease.
Nicoll is about wearing your clothes, and yourself in fact, lightly. He tackles the problem of frothy femininity head-on by updating pretty for real, grown-up women. One such piece was a grey cashmere cardigan backed with sheer chiffon, another motif was a girlish dandelion print in pink and aquamarine, or a sinuous gown of pooling silk worn with a sheer organza 'sweatshirt'. Bias cuts and cowl backs gave things a sophisticated edge, even if his muse for the collection was Tinkerbell.
Add to this technical brilliance and a refined, low-key sort of sensibility and it's clear that the sum of Richard Nicoll's many parts is above and beyond the industry average.