Even though last season's linked collections of Richard Nicoll and his first for the house of Cerruti wasn't necessarily a bad thing, this season, it feels like it makes a whole lot more sense when Cerruti is given a breath of fresh air that is very much separate from Nicoll's own S/S 11 collection. Chevron was the starting point, inspired by 40s costume designer Adrian, and the lines gave a strong graphicism that combined with Nicoll's dab hand at shirting and fresh tailoring reinvigorated the house of Cerruti and strengthened its brand identity. Soft tailored separates comes in shades of deep peach and cream that are then combined with the chevron in cut-out dresses with sheer panels that both conceal and reveal in the right places. A stab at eveningwear comes into play with a raffia pattern that has been beaded to create a luxurious take on earthy textures and likewise, a sprinkle of silver embroidery graces solid shirt corners to emphasise the balance between the decorative elements and weighted tailoring. The collection was presented as static mannequins which were brought to life by accompanying individual film clips of Malgosia Bela moving in each silhouette. These were shot by Will Davidson and also accompany a longer film that place the clothes in a whited-out pod with movement that was inspired by Nico's turn in a Phillipe Garrel film.
Dazed Digital: How has your work for Cerruti moved on from the first collection?
Richard Nicoll: It's more true to the heritage of the house. I looked a lot at the Paolo Roversi campaigns and Malgosia (Bela) featured in a campaign ten years ago and so for me she represents the strong feminity at Cerruti. I wanted something really graphic but something potent too so there's this sense of couture mixed with earthiness, structure mixed with drape to represent the company ethos. I've had more time to process what the company is about.
DD: What prompted the you to do a presentation instead of a show?
Richard Nicoll: It was a company decision but we wanted to breathe life into the brand. With the store downstairs opening tonight and with the beautiful view of the Madeleine, it seems really fitting. I'm really glad I've had time to make something I'm really proud of without panic.
DD: What was the concept behind the film that was shot by Will Davidson?
Richard Nicoll: We looked at Phillipe Garrel's film La Cicatrice Intérieure starring Nico as the protagonist. We briefed Malgosia to be like Nico. There's this scene where they're working in this salt lake desert in circles. Nico collapses eventually - we showed her the footage and she channelled that same feeling.
DD: How do you find working on your own label as well as for Cerruti now?
Richard Nicoll: It's actually mutally beneficial. It's been a really great and coming over here to work on it is like pressing the refresh button. It's a change of scene. Working with the type of people in this company, like Chanel tailoring factory or embroidery people, it informs what I do for London and has taught me a lot of technicalities.
DD: Going forward, what hopes do you have for Cerruti?
Richard Nicoll: I'd like it to regain its glory because I think it's such a relevant time for a company like Cerruti and for the ethos of the house - long may it last! Next season is my last on this contract so we'll see!