Political turbulence comes in waves and when the seas get stormy, it’s generally a good idea to keep your crew members close and batten down the hatches. With the forecast for Autumn Winter 20 looking decidedly choppy, there is comfort and serenity to be found by looking back to a time when carefree, youthful energy was the order of the day. Studio Nicholson founder and creative director Nick Wakeman explains how the new AW20 Collection is an ode to her formative years – the 1990s.
“The magazines I loved, such as i-D and The Face were raw and gritty. They never felt forced or fanciful – they were just documenting the realism of the lifestyles we were leading. Everything felt authentic, never constructed. Models in editorials looked effortless; as though they were wearing their own clothes and bringing their own sense of character to the photo shoots. Beauty was redefined as something simpler; it was fresh-faced, clean, and accessible. Without the pressure of social media, we had the freedom to be ourselves without fear of every move being recorded.”
The liberty of unfenced existence felt, at the time, euphoric. Amid the economic chaos, creativity triumphed. Self-shrunken tops, sloppy jumpers, long-length pants, knitted tube dresses and skinny-fit jersey were the uniform staples of the elongated 90s silhouette. The awkward volume of a borrowed jacket, the genderless glory of a faded band t-shirt or the nostalgic unisex warmth of a chunky cardigan. Everything was up for grabs – literally. Clothing was borrowed, torn, loved and worn.
Forever able to transport a reverie into the relevance of today’s modular wardrobe needs, Wakeman has woven a sensual ease into every element of this new collection. Lean, dramatic tailoring feels right paired with boiled merino dresses and teamed with sturdy lace-up worker boots. Sporty stretch nylons are reminiscent of the full-length silk taffeta slip dresses favoured by so many make-up free grunge girls during the early 90s era.
Styled with the same natural aplomb seen in Juergen Teller’s ‘Go Sees’ book, the contemporary stance has been woven into every molecule. With standout styles being the Valletta longline sleeveless belted coat and the full backed sleeveless Beckford Dress in polished tropical wool, with pop coloured body skimming knits to layer underneath. Flawless construction, wearer-focussed structure and gently rounded angles guarantee an interchangeable attitude. Yarns and fabrications are of course, chosen for their provenance, durability and flawless quality – which has, and always will be, the central focus for every Studio Nicholson garment.
Launches 10th November --
Leanne Cloudsdale is the Studio Nicholson Editor-at-Large