Thursday, 9 February 2012

NYFW Fall 2012: Nicholas K's Cowboys and Flappers Mash-Up

[All images taken from]
What we've learned from Nicholas K: the bigger the hat, the bigger the strut. The hint of cowboy was undeniable with this kind of headwear. Exaggerated proportions made it even more fun, with rolled up sleeves and baggy boots to complement the look, and that fierce reddish orange eye make-up.

This ensemble reminded me of travel photography focusing on harsh landscapes and often inhospitable environments (I'm thinking rocky outcrops, freezing wastelands and unforgiving desert sun). The block shade of mid-grey is a nice contrast to the harsh khaki, black and white tones elsewhere in this show.

Another element of travel came through for me in this catwalk collection: the notion of layering up and wearing as many of your clothes as possible, so you travel lighter. Note the awkward hat, coat, necklace and boots that make an altogether disjointed but exciting outfit, especially when placed against the flapper wigs that all the female models wore, alongside fringed pieces and draped boyish vests underneath that celebrated the boyish 1920s body ideal.

In the sleeker menswear silhouettes later on then there's more of a 'cityboy does western' vibe coming across - everything's polished, tucked in and neat, in contrast to the earlier frenetic layering and undone buckles. This suggests that Nicholas K isn't just aiming at one type of man or dresser; you can find something in this collection whether you like to look genuinely bedraggled or you just want a hint of bed hair.

The whole collection was an interesting combination of influences that made everything appear fresh, even though many of the pieces may have looked unremarkable in their own right. It's all about the layering and juxtaposition of forms for Nicholas K, and he makes a strong case.


  1. Nicholas K is one of my favorite designers, but... the hats, I don't like them.

  2. Hmm I suppose the hats are going to be pretty divisive! It's hard when a designer you really love steps away from the kind of things you like, but I haven't been into Nicholas K for very long. I think the hats are cool because they're so unusual, but I'm not sure they'll filter down to the high street.

    Polly x


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