Richard Nicoll's signature understated, pristine and optimistic vision is always refreshing - and this season, expect no less. The sanguine designer renowned for his deft tailoring and conceptual approach says he is, "feeling ready to embrace the new and unknown... I am leaving the cocoon of stability and routine, and I think this is reflected in my collection." Nicoll, also Creative Director at French fashion house Cerruti, allows W a peek inside his studio leading up to London Fashion Week.


We started work on Fall 2011 in mid-November. The process is generally painful to a point and then, once the fittings begin, the message becomes clearer and we start the process of dilution and adding missing elements—it's a bit like cooking.

What has inspired your designs this season?
This season is about comfort, ease and freedom. I didn't want anything to have waist emphasis so [I] looked at the 20's to reference the drop-waisted silhouettes in a sporty way. Also there is a cocoon and moth motif that reflects the comfort and freedom of the mood.


We're excited to see your new collection! Can you give us a hint as to what to expect?
Last season for me was about minimal but high-octane glamour, and this season is more relaxed and louche. This season's woman is effortlessly confident and cool, the kind of girl that might wear luxury jogging bottoms and a tracksuit jacket with her heels and clutch to an evening event. She makes the least effort for the most reaction and attention.


What do you think distinguishes London Fashion Week from the other fashion weeks?
London celebrates individuality and idiosyncrasy more than New York. The work produced here feels more personal to the designer and because we are in Europe, there is an understanding, but also a rejection of, high-end Parisian fashion codes. Saying that, I love designers like Proenza Schouler and Marc Jacobs. Designers in London are generally quite close with one another; some of my best friends are fellow designers.

There seems to be optimism in the air for 2011... Do you think this will follow through to the runway?
I agree that there seems to be something of a feeling of significant change in the air, there certainly is for me anyway. I have made some personal changes to my life and I'm feeling ready to embrace the new and unknown. I feel as though I am leaving the cocoon of stability and routine, you could say, and I think this is reflected in my collection.