Richard Nicoll Dresses Like a Trout Fisherman

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Nicoll's favorite look from fall. Photo: Melissa Hom

Richard Nicoll, amazingly, hit the ground running straight from design school — Dolce & Gabbana famously bought his graduate collection from Central Saint Martins in 2002. He now has a successful women's line and designs a special label for Topshop. We caught up with Nicoll to discuss his current state of poverty, his love of desert boots, and a recent collaboration with British artist Linder Sterling.

What was your inspiration for fall?
It was about gaining strength through admission of vulnerability and fragility, hence the utilitarian-lingerie references, exposing the inside out. I felt that it was time to show honesty about where we are at as a society at the moment. I also worked with the artist Linder Sterling on prints and concepts, which was incredible.

What were your favorite pieces?
Look one is a plastic-coated-canvas "flasher mac" on Stam. I love it because it sets the scene. I love the elegant but slightly twisted cocktail dress from the middle of the show, and the lingerie armor suit in that sickly sweet pink.


What type of woman wears your clothes?
What I really like about my label is that I don't have a type. There is a wide range of ages and sizes that wear it, but I guess what distinguishes them is their sense of individuality. I design predominately in separates, so that the wearer can deconstruct it into their own style.

What labels do you wear most?
Now I dress quite simply in classic pieces, mostly in navy blue. I've been going for a subtle trout-fisherman look recently, with checked shirt and woolen hat and hiking boots (honestly, it works). I like my Jil Sander navy peacoat, and I wear a lot of shirts by different people. My favorites are Margaret Howell and Acne. I love knitwear by Uniqlo and Raf, trousers by Raf Simons and Acne. I buy my shoes from Church's and Lanvin. I buy good-quality clothes that last me for years.

Who were some of your favorite designers growing up? What about now?
When I was younger I loved Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons, Jil Sander, and Helmut Lang. Now I like a lot of people, but no one designer more than another.

What was the first designer item you bought?
A Comme des Garçons T-shirt.

Is there an item you are currently coveting?
There was, but I bought it: A pair of navy suede Church's desert boots.

What are the differences between London and NYC in terms of fashion?
London is way more scruffy, which isn't necessarily a good thing.

Where do you shop most in New York?
Well, yesterday I shopped at Uniqlo, because I am broke at the moment and won’t be going to any other shops this trip.

What trends are you liking for this fall?
That kind of subversive, French-chic vibe.

Any trends you wish would disappear?
Rock chick. Boring!

What’s something every woman should have in her closet?
A secret.

Finish this sentence: "I never leave the house without … "
My phone, keys, and iPod.