Loyal fans will know that the 1990s were a pivotal decade for Studio Nicholson founder, Nick Wakeman. An era of political unrest gave rise to heightened creativity and experimentation. Turbulent times were reflected in the way people dressed, which was a small mark of rebellion against an ever-increasing corporate climate. Iconic musicians were (as usual) at the forefront of this changing culture and their subtle re-hash of 1950s Americana resonated with the disaffected youth of the day.
The well-documented 30 year cycle for fashion trends meant it was only natural that the essence of quiffs, wide pants and a rock & roll attitude would inevitably be transported forward to the 1990s. Second time around though, the silhouettes were different. That prim and proper Ivy League perfection was still clearly visible, but by the nineties, the sizing had increased from neat to slouch. Collegiate charm had been through the mill and had popped out cooler at the other side.
It's this rebellious breakdown of the mid-century brainbox uniform that has inspired the Men’s SS22 collection. Modern Prep signals a new nostalgia. A slick remodelling of Americana. Sportswear polished to perfection and an ad hoc approach to layering. It aims to reminisce about the warm familiarity of swapping clothes with friends, mixing the highbrow and lowbrow, rejecting the rules. It strips back the vintage handwriting and puts minimalism back on the timetable.
Cherry Cola hues are served up throughout, giving mainstays Navy, Charcoal and Grey Marl an alternative pairing. Other tones include Soda, Mole, Hazelnut, Water, Biscuit and Sky Blue, with a pop of Persimmon to brighten the educational palette. Easy-to-wear plaid straddles the 1950s – 1990s, worn loose for serious daily volume, worn buttoned up or instead, paired with a T-shirt underneath (a favourite of Kurt Cobain or Keanu). With trademark double pleat front and wide leg, the Yale Pant is the lower quadrant ode to Ivy League style. Legs breathe easy with the Helix, Damon or outdoorsy Column Shorts.
Think of the Walbrook Jacket as an updated Harrington, zipped up and ready to start the new term. Muted madras checks scrunch and crunch their way through the warmer summer months, a souvenir of bygone summer holidays. The Sylvan Pant takes active up a notch, with a clever technical cut and bagged out knees that make 360 movement a breeze.
Knits keep the chills at bay, with standout items such as the Foss Vest bringing tank top qualifications into 2022 and beyond. Double faced Merino kicks athleisure in the face thanks to the smooth-talking Teith Knit and Mourne Pant two-piece. The Alpha Knit with double house stripe on the sleeve gives the humble Ivy League cardigan a place at centre stage again. Modern Prep takes summer modularity seriously and puts a spring in the step of Studio Nicholson functionality.