Nicole Miller shocked many fashion critics with her Spring 2012 collection.
The designer known for clean lines and classic dresses went street, sending a series of wildly colorful, graphically patterned separates down the runway.
“I started out with an obsession with bicycles – bike chains and bike locks,” Miller said yesterday of the collection, entitled Fast Forward/Rewind. “It felt limited, so I expanded to everything from skateboards and motorcycles to Formula One racers. At first, I was going to call it ‘Women on Wheels.'”
But Miller’s inspiration broadened even further when she began to look to the past. “I started looking at women in different eras and shopped my own archive closet – the 70s, 80s. I found techniques and ideas that hadn’t been used in a while.”
These included bright patchwork prints liberally applied to leggings, blouses and jumpsuits, mid-calf hemlines, neon colorblocking and a deluge of checks and stripes.
Perhaps the most divergent aspect of the show was Miller’s use of color, which she deemed the main trend for spring. Following a fall collection dominated by black, white and beige, her kaleidoscopic palette startled many.
“Everything’s been so neutral lately. I’m into color,” she said. “A lot of subsequent shows
had some of the same ideas. I saw full-printed jumpsuits, longer lengths and a
lot of stripes. It’s funny, everyone is in the same mindset. Everyone is ready for some color.”
Miller also offered some tips for spicing up an average wardrobe. “If you get a few more contemporary pieces, you can make any outfit more modern – a boxy top to update a conservative skirt, an edgy piece like our metal skirt to make a suit jacket less stuffy,” she said.
“But it’s really about confidence. You exude a well-dressed and attractive attitude when you feel confident.”