To say that September was a busy month for the Philly Fashion scene would be an understatement of the century; so much so that you needed a “5-hour energy” just to keep up with all the action. But as amazing as all of this commotion has been for the city, it also saved those many of us traveling to and from NYC major miles.
After all, it’s nice to have options in your home town. And with New York Fashion Week now over, Philly has been basking in the spotlight of it’s ow events like Phashion Phest, Rittenhouse Row Fall Gathering and Philly’s own Fashion Week. Among the “it” happenings, I was pleased to attend the Nicole Miller’s XIX Most Stylish Women of Philadelphia Awards @ XIX, where I got to sit down with Nicole to discuss her inspiration for the Fall lineup as well as her fabulous Spring 2012 Runway Collection.
Q: You can never be sure how accurate the internet is and many people were wondering, where are you from?
A: “Well, I was born in Texas, but grew up in Massachusetts.”
Q: I heard that the inspiration for your Spring 2012 Collection came from your son. Is this true?
A: “Well, it’s funny because it really started out with bicycles and bike chains. I’ve done all these bike bags which I really loved…it was the bicycles in Tribeca with bike chains that inspired me. So, I started out with vintage bicycle clothing. And then felt that maybe bikes were too limiting. So I looked into other modes of transportation like girls’ skateboarding and girls’ motor cross…and roller derby. Then I started to say that the inspiration became GIRLS ON WHEELS.”
“So, then I borrowed my son’s backpack. I said can I borrow your backpack and he said, okay. I said can I borrow your surf shorts and skateboard shorts? These were the items that got picked up on in the show. I also made a bag out of patent leather which was a hit.”
Q: Would you say that the Spring brings out the colors in a designer’s palette and is it easier to create a collection in the Spring?
A: No, I don’t think so. I think that in the past two seasons I was in a very muted mood. Last Spring was very esoteric, greys and whites. This Spring is all about color, I moved from one place to the other. This Fall is black with a little bit of color, the Spring is color with a little bit of black.”
“I think the WORLD IS IN A COLOR MODE right now. You can’t be bright enough”
Q: What piece stole the show?
A: “I designed this blue and orange backpack in patent leather and it was huuuuge. I was like, OMG, they will never understand this…and then it was the one thing everybody was picking up on. It is a crossbody bag… a large triangular messenger bag.”
Q: You are so famous for your dresses. What is your personal favorite article of clothing?
A: “I really rarely wear dresses. I wear pants almost everyday and once in a while I’ll wear a mini skirt but I never wear dresses to work unless they’re layered with a jacket and tights. I do wear my own designs all the time.”
A:” I don’t know, currently maybe my watch..but I’ve been really into this jewelry designer from New Zealand, Nick Von K.”
I really appreciated Nicole’s candor. She was reserved yet honest on point with everything that she had to say, especially her comment about the evolution of the fashion industry. When she first started her fashion business, her competitors were other designers but today celebrities have entered the arena and the market is a much harder place to penetrate.
Of course Nicole will always have a loyal following from the fashion savvy Philadelphians. With two convenient locations in the area, it’s easy to pop by her store and definitely worth the trip. Her Fall collection that’s in the stores now is so much fun. There are lots of reds and blues an unexpected metallic leathers that you’ll simply fall in love with. Enjoy rediscovering Nicole Miller!