The House of Nicholas Oakwell is pleased to present its Spring/Summer 20I4 collection, Flower. This is Nicholas Oakwell’s sixth couture collection, presented at Claridge’s to celebrate the opening of the label’s first shop, at 49 Brook Street, Mayfair.
Inspired by the works of celebrated British photographer, Sir Cecil Beaton, the collection draws on British society and the joys of ‘The Season’, with a particular nod to the lavish parties, events and lifestyles enjoyed by I950’s socialites.
“I came across a marvellous book about Beaton in Assouline,” says Nicholas. “It’s all very serendipitous: the seed of this collection comes from the very book store that is now our next-door neighbour in our first shop.”
Nicholas reimagined Beaton’s timeless images of British life, modernising complex layerings of white with flashes of bright neons. The effect is fresh, feminine and modern, even as it reflects the glamour of a past era.
The collection also harks back to the works of Charles James, hailed by Cristóbal Balenciaga as America’s greatest couturier. An avid fan of James’s highly structured aesthetic, Nicholas and his team of pattern cutters and drapers employed similar construction techniques to create silhouettes that are reminiscent of James’s work, but translated for the contemporary woman.
The result is, on closer inspection, a sophisticated collection of contrasts, with organic floral motifs combined with geometric patterns, and traditional I950’s forms subjugated by the use of high-tech fabrication techniques.
Featuring opulent fabrics such as silk moiré, silk tulle, sheer silk organza, silk gazar, Nappa leather and silk satin organza, the Flower collection also features Nicholas’s
signature embroidery and embellishments, including ostrich feathers and hand-cut silk and leather flowers.