Such sad news to hear that Richard Nicoll passed away last week.
Such very unexpected news as he was only 39.
Sadder because apart from his incredible talent he was a real sweet guy.
The best we can do is remember him with affection and remember him with admiration.
Be inspired by him and don't hold back. Set yourself some goals.
Remember all of the amazing work that he did and he did a lot in his time here.
Richard graduated from Central Saint Martins in London with an MA in Womenswear.
He worked for Dolce & Gabbana and Louis Vuitton before launching his own label.
Besides his own collections Richard Nicoll with women's and men's
lines plus Richard Nicoll Shirt he was the Creative Director for Cerruti, he
freelance designed for Marc Jacobs, designed the Richard Nicoll for
Topshop capsule collections, designed Richard Nicoll for Fred Perry under their
Laurel boutique collections. He also designed Richard Nicoll for Sportsgirl in
Australia and most recently was the Creative Director of English brand Jack Wills.
Kylie Minogue in a Ricard Nicoll dress featuring a Linder Sterling print
Florence Welch from Florence & The Machine wearing Richard Nicoll
Pleated Cape Dress in Peach Silk and Leather
He wrote a blog for Vogue and dressed fans including Tracey Emin, Bjork, Kylie
Minogue, Julianne Moore, Diane Kruger, Sienna Miller, Florence Welch and Kiera
He returned to Australia recently to consult on other brands and apparently had
accepted a role as Creative Director of Adidas in Berlin which was to begin early next
As Blonde Venus, we were the first Australian boutique to stock his collection
back in 2006 and then stocked his label including Resort, Pre-Collections and his
popular Richard Nicoll Shirt line until 2012.
This photo was taken on October the 5th 2007 inside Maria Luisa in Paris.
Richard had won the prestigious Association Nationale pour le Developement des Arts
de la Mode / ANDAM award and had an exhibition
of photographs of his work taken by Jason Evans.
He actually won this award three times!
The invitation from that night...
Here is a bit of a diary of the collections that we carried.
Many of you will recognise these and hopefully will still have them in your
When I left Brisbane, I had a massive clean-out but kept
many of Richard's pieces as I love them so much and still wear them.
The true test of buying good pieces. You always hold them in high esteem.
Autumn Winter 2006
I was lucky enough to see this show in person at London Fashion Week.
An exhilarating experience! I was blown away by the collection and it was
the buy that I was most excited about for that season.
I met Richard and his business partner Jo Knight at LFW who took me through
the collection. I remember being concerned about the fabric weights and aesthetic
as it would deliver for our summer but I loved it too much.
We stocked a lot of the shirting which would become a strong basis of his
collections and also his career and I recall that his cotton smock tunics were
particularly popular from this collection.
Corsetry and mannish trousers were another theme that strongly featured in
Spring Summer 2007
So much fun!
This season Richard collaborated with London milliners Bernstock Spiers to make
hats for this collection.
They had famously made Kylie Minogue's 'open top' hat from
her 1988 album cover and the aesthetic perfectly suited this 1980's inspired collection.
Again the corsetry, shirting and trousers featured strongly.
Spring Summer 2008
Va Va Voom! Richard's finishing had already been magnificent but he
pushed his work to another level with this collection. The same ideas
were there but the girl had grown up in to a lady. A hot lady! The beautiful
pleated organzas, the incredible seaming details and layering of sheers
to create lines and shadows.
Autumn Winter 2008
Richard described this collection as 'restrained romance' and 'eccentric
professionalism' again, using his shirting as a base and building into
sophisticated evening wear. He continued the idea of sheer layering, kind of
hide and seek with such a sophisticated outcome.
This was the first season that featured his incredibly popular Stella Dress (seen here
second last) which was a flowing shape based on a square.
Spring Summer 2009
I remember seeing this collection for the first time - moving through the images
feverishly, so excited and eager to see the next. That is what it's about right?
He borrowed colours and lines from the 50's and the 80's and made it right
for the time.
Richard had not used a lot of bold colour previous to this so it was quite a
surprise but so well executed. I remember that he was one of the first designers
to do a modern take on crepe de chine, a fabric that probably had not been popular
since the 70's and early 80's. He dyed it, draped it, panelled it and we loved it.
I not only loved the colour and the silhouettes of this collection but the
gorgeous pearl accessories which were done in collaboration with Erickson Beamon
and the unique modernist head pieces.
Spring Summer 2009 Resort
A reprise of looks from his lauded Spring Summer collection and perfect
shapes and colours for the party season.
Autumn Winter 09 Pre Fall
All in luxurious 100% Italian Cotton these pieces came in White, Black
and a White / Black Pinstripe. It's hard to see the details from these photos
but each style had bodyline panels pin stitched over the front panels.
I have the white cotton Stella dress in the centre and have worn it every
summer since then!
Autumn Winter 2009
This was the first season that Richard teamed up with British artist Linder Sterling
They became great friends and her work then featured in many of his collections.
The collection comprised filmy silks, cashmere wool suiting, patent leather and
transparent plastic transformed with incredible tailoring, boning and corsetry.
Add to this Linder Sterling’s incredible collages printed on to silk the collection
transpires mostly into what I would call couture rather than ready to wear. It was
Linder, a radical feminist, visual artist and performance artist is most well known for the
cover that she designed for Orgasm Addict by The Buzzcocks in 1977.
A well known figure in the Manchester Punk and Post Punk scene she is also
famously known for her performance art piece in 1982 when she wore a
‘meat dress’ way, way before Lady Gaga.
Her most continuous work has been her collages where she mixes images of
pornography with women’s fashion images from magazines.
The Stella Dress in crepe de chine featuring prints by Linder Sterling
The Eyris Print by Linder Sterling for Richard Nicoll
Spring Summer 2010
Richard was inspired by a book of late 19th century Tahitian photography for this
collection which formed the ideas for the prints and also the mood.
It had all the elements of chic city dressing but with the playfulness of
a summer escape, hence the fringing and scarves, the softer silks and linens and the
gorgeous accessories featuring raffia and jewels.
Autumn Winter 2010
Again, such a sophisticated colour palette. This collection played on the traditions
of office wear for the working woman with transformed suiting and he even finished
off looks with 'dog clip broaches' covered in Swarovski crystals.
His clever use of layering featured again strongly, using knits and solids under
and over each other, taking evening wear signatures and dressing them down
with a sporty attitude.
Spring Summer 2011
Richard presented this collection on the old Eurostar platform at Waterloo Station
and it's soundtrack was David Bowie's Station to Station album. Brilliant.
The album provided him inspiration as well as the 1970's when Glam Rock ended and
Punk Rock began.
He found his muse in an image of Tina Chow from that era in a fortuny gown
which led his way back to the stunning pleating. There is a gritty 1970's feeling
underlying the 1940's glamour. The sexy bralettes and erotic details muted with sheer
layers. The zipped bomber jackets over silks. The leather and patent leather trims.
It's hard with soft and again a sumptuous colour palette.
Autumn Winter 2011
This season, I chose a group of dresses from the collection that
I felt would translate well from a northern hemisphere winter to
an Australian summer. They took the form of this dramatic
shape based on his Stella dress with tails in drapey silk,
in colours of black, navy, grey and taupe.
Spring Summer 2012 Resort
The last collection that we had in store was this very memorable Resort
Collection, again featuring the collage based prints of Linder Sterling.
We also stocked these images in casual tees, tanks and tank dresses.
Agyness Deyn modelling the House of Holland Richard Nicoll
rhyming slang tribute t-shirt in 2007.
This photo of Richard by Jason Evans
A gorgeous, creative man who moved mountains in his time.