Nicole Miller on Safari
by Ian Laughead
After last season’s nineties grunge theme, Nicole Miller took on something totally different for spring. Under a moody canopy of tropical flora, her collection at New York Fashion Week was a vision of a jungle paradise where the ground is hard enough for heels and the heat bearable enough to layer a cute leather jacket. In short, less Tarzan and more Jane.
Miller’s models looked like explorers in their many-pocketed jackets and utilitarian belts. Rendered in traditional olive drab and khaki gabardines, these safari separates were refreshed with peplums and well-tailored shorts. Beyond the cargo pockets there were palm-print dresses and a black lace take on Yves Saint Laurent’s famous “Saharienne” dress.
Other looks stole the bright colors of exotic rainforest blooms, like an orchid print in eighties laser show pink and teal. Another paired those orchids with leopard’s spots, parrots, and a resist-dyed border in a knowing mashup of rainforest clichés.
Perhaps the most interesting of Miller’s garments were her cocktail dresses, like one in sheer white chiffon with macrame overlays or another that was covered in what looked like stripes but turned out to be many grosgrain ribbons cinched with expedition style D-rings. Miller designs clothes to make the perfect statement at any event, even when it’s a jungle jamboree.