Richard Nicoll is known for concise tailoring. That is what took him to Cerruti’s design studio and how he built his own brand. This season’s general fashion focus on the tailored shirt and sporty soft wear ought to have been his moment.
But the Nicoll woman went in a different direction, with the tailoring so fluid it almost ran away, while the pastel colours — pretty macaroon shades — looked like this summer’s trend.
It started well with simple dresses, silvered and twinkling fibre-optically in the light. Unusually, Nicoll had ‘partnered’ this season with the Disney fairy, Tinker Bell, and that flibbertigibbet from Peter Pan seemed to have cast a spell over the whole collection.
Out came sporty tops and shorts in a shiny lilac, with matching iridescent bomber jacket. Or a long dress in a whisper of turquoise chiffon, worn over a polka-dotted slip. More solid was a onesie, opening at the sides and sharply cut.
But the show often felt as though Nicoll had taken a sip of the magic potion from Alice in Wonderland, making even relatively simple pieces like knitting look girlie to a fault.
Once I had accepted this major change of direction, I found fine pieces, including a polka-dotted jacket with matching shorts.
But changing tack so dramatically is a dangerous game to play in a fashion world where a brand has to stand for something definite.