Inspired by the sophisticated, tomboyish teddy girls of the 50s, womenswear tour de force Richard Nicoll has combined talents with Fred Perry to launch an exclusive collection for SS11.
Sitting for Nick Knight in last year’s Then, Now and Next Issue and working closely with Linder Sterling on her cover-shoot for the Insi-De Outsi-De Issue in 2008, Richard Nicoll is a long-time i-D collaborator. His understated glamour has been the talk of the town since launching his first collection in 2005 and the designer has continued to seduce the London fashion set with his minimalist approach to fine tailoring, clean shapes and elegant silhouettes. In a new collaboration with Fred Perry that launches this month, Nicoll has designed a range of easy-to-wear pieces that combine strong feminine elegance with the classic, casual style pioneered by the heritage brand. Referencing the bold colours and sportswear themes of his spring/summer 09 collection, Nicoll’s range includes checked scarves, pastel coloured tops with delicate pearl detailing and printed T-shirt dresses. In keeping with Fred Perry’s traditional aesthetic, the original cotton pique shirt and the distinctive Harrington bomber jacket are also available.
Fred Perry has an enduring association with British street fashion and for this particular collaboration Nicoll has looked back to era-defining subcultures, choosing as his inspiration a series of portraits of 1950’s teddy girls taken by legendary film director Ken Russell. Battling against post-war austerity, London’s teddy girls would dress up in sophisticated clothing such as silk neck scarves, pencil skirts and tailored jackets, coupling them with distinct antique accessories. It is this that has inspired the elegant Laurel wreath broach that adorns many pieces in the collection. As Nicoll explains: “I like the idea that something as conservative and traditional as a cameo broach could become subversive in the right hands.” Nicoll is best known for designing clothes that feminise masculine shapes and this casual yet highly sophisticated collection is the perfect fit for Fred Perry’s traditional tomboy aesthetic.