‘Based on Henri-Georges Clouzot’s unfinished 1966 Masterpiece L’Enfer.’
That’s what the Richard Nicoll show notes told us, printed on the back of an old Simplicity pattern picture, illustrated with three young models in nightwear. L’Enfer is a film directed and written by Clouzot that due to a number of issues, went unfinished, but was shown in documentary form just two years ago. Shot partly in black and white and partly in colour (can you tell I’ve been on Wikipedia yet?), it’s become something of a cult classic. I’ve never seen it, but judging by the beautiful collection that Richard Nicoll delivered for SS’12, it can’t be as dark as Wiki leads you to believe.
Richard nailed the vibe for next season. I want to throw out any heavy layers I own already, because he's put me in the mood for something much softer. Cleverly layered dresses, PJ dressing, hooped pieces, '60's underwear (have I ever wanted a pointy boob more? No), this felt SO fresh, so modern, and it was Richard back to what he does best - understanding (before they do) that cool girls don't need gimmicky design for design sake, they just want really, really beautiful clothes. After New York showing collections that should have just been on the sale rail, again London reminds us of it's relevance. Richard Nicoll is not a commercial collection, not in the traditional sense anyway, and yet I and others at Grazia left that show wanting to change the way we dress.