Richard Nicoll recently did an interview with Vogue Italia; but this was no ordinary interview. As a sort of 'commercial' advertising this interview, Vogue Italia commissioned filmmaker Justin Anderson to create a short film about the lead-up to the interview. The film is entitled 'Get Richard' and Vogue Italia claims on their website that it is 'based on a true story'. Now, we're not sure just how true that is, but it's a stellar film, nonetheless! The story follows Richard, who is kidnapped by a well-dressed crew of subversive looking models, driven through the desert and half-buried in the sand such that only his upper torso and head are exposed aboveground. The film ends with a long shot of Richard, stuck there in the desert, with a microphone situated just in front of him. In our opinion, it's the best advert ever made for an interview! Check the video out here, and read excerpts from his interview below.
Why did you start designing?
I came to London to study fine art and do sculpture; then I chose fashion as one of my foundation course options and found I that had a knack for it. I had always been really interested in self-expression through clothes... I think my first interest in fashion came through an intense shyness I had when I was young, I used to communicate through clothes rather than speaking and dressing differently was my way of consciously not fitting in, but without having to talk much. Although you evolve; I think you are still that person you were in your teens, just in a more sophisticated way.
Do you look for inspiration or does it just happen?
It's an instinct, it's something you're born with I think, the creativity, the sensitivity to things - but there are times when I don’t want to feel it, when I kind of want to close my mind to inspiration. I’ll ignore ideas and wait until the moment is right, there are periods of productivity and periods of consolidation. I think that inspiration can be seen as a subconscious feeling you have for what feels sociologically relevant and also personally relevant, I guess there’s a sort of message no matter how abstract it is.
Do you oversee the entire creative process?
I’m Creative Director as it were but I’m lucky to work with really talented creative pattern cutters, we have a lot of dialogue about an idea that can be kind of abstract and from there we just do a lot of experiments together, a lot of fittings, so it’s very much a team effort.
What is your idea of beauty?
"There's beauty in sensitivity...for me it’s about conveying a sense of honesty of the human condition, it’s important to convey real fragility. Sometimes even a slightly disturbed sense of beauty- something that is subtle, sophisticated, a knowing sense of naivety; a modern esoteric elegance. It’s individual opinion but for me its about imperfection and celebration, my work is about an anti-heroine; it’s about celebrating a sense of idiosyncrasy and reality."
Who is this anti-heroine?
"To an extent it is an image of me infused in my collection. I’m not perfect, I celebrate my imperfections and always have, I guess the women I think about share the same qualities. I’m interested in a sense of unsettling normality; something seems on the surface to be calm and normal and there’s an undercurrent of something strange, a Lynchian influence I guess."
What makes something beautiful is it subjective, or can something be beautiful?
I think something can be beautiful in a kind of timeless way- but I think modern beauty is subjective. My work is about imperfect beauty,something that has that right balance of elegance and provocation.
So why do you think people wear your clothes?
"I think they relate to the honesty, a lot of my clothes are simple and concise; they allow the wearer to express themselves, to interpret the clothes into their own wardrobes and lives. I think a lot of women relate to that, the shapes are versatile and our best selling item is the oversized one size fits all shape that is in the film."
Richard Nicoll is currently available it at I.T Hong Kong, Liger Hong Kong, Maria Luisa Hong Kong, Inhabit Singapore, FjL Indonesia, Je Ne Sais Quoi Korea.