There are a few edgier designers that you really always hope you’ll get a chance to see during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. This year, one of the invites that I’d wanted for a while came in: Nicholas K. Excited to see the evolution of Nicholas Kunz’s 9-year old line, I took my seat the first day of New York Fashion Week and waited to see if my enthusiasm was warranted.
It most definitely was.
What seems inspired by the Depression-era Southwest (think a combination of wild west mixed with touches of art deco and rock and roll from today), the spectacular collection had a gothic twist on western – literally, an “urban cowboy” appeal that was incredibly enticing. With a palette of colors inspired by sand, tumbleweeds and all nature of things dry and dusty, Nicholas K has given us a collection of clothes for both men and women that’s filled with a mixture of geometrical silhouettes, incredible outerwear (I wanted every single leather jacket, coat, parka and duster that floated down the runway) and layered jersey/knit combinations.
Soundtrack note: a DJ-enhanced backtrack of Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s “My My, Hey Hey:” from the album Live Rust. Download it from iTunes and play it while you read the rest of this.
As a fan of layering, these are layers that are sleek and edgy enough to walk the city streets but they looked – dare I say it?- cozy from where I was sitting. It’s a tough road to hoe, that combination of streetwise edge and clothes that look like you would WANT to put them next to your skin. Nicholas K achieved that by putting the softest textures next to the body, then layering up to a windbreaking outer shell of leather, shearling and pony hair that can withstand the elements in chic style.
The love is in the details in this collection. Crochet knitting, a spectacular dress covered in shimmering beaded fringe (some of the critics dismissed it, I say wait until someone like Rooney Mara wears it on the red carpet), more fringe on other looks, and rough-and-tumble leather – particularly a vest that seemed inspired by old saddle bags. A tortoise shell necklace – literally an abandoned shell of a tortoise suspended from cord – added a touch of tongue in cheek.
The menswear collection gave us more of the same and it was GOOD. Minus the 10-gallon hat
Loved, loved, LOVED. I’m personally saving up for this one. More, more, MORE Nicholas K. Way to kick off the week!