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Monday, February 23, 2009

London Fashion Week: Richard Nicoll

Soon after Christopher Kane packed up his subdued fare and braved the London streets, that other man-of-the-moment, Richard Nicoll, bounded into the same space with racks of dazzling rock-star frocks. The front row was so A-list that you wondered if they’d gotten confused on this, the day of the Oscars, and attended the wrong red carpet. But no. “The ideal Richard Nicoll customer is Linder Sterling because she is strong, empathetic, creative, unique and intelligent,” Nicoll said backstage, his chiselled looks all but cracking paparazzi lenses.

Turns out flattery will get you everywhere, because Sterling—Morissey's BFF and a herself an artist—was another of those front-rowers, wearing a billowy tunic brazenly screen-printed with one of her own images. This Charming Man played and models stomped the yard on cue, decked in Sterling's works—digital shots of bare skin, faces awash in reds and pinks, lips and hair lost in the folds—vaguely reminiscent of her Buzzcocks album covers.

Sterling proudly cooed from the sidelines like a first-time mum. In fact she literally beamed as her body-inspired prints splayed across Nicoll's impeccably stitched corsetry and suspenders, while form-fitting dresses were slashed at the thigh to reveal white skinnies and lamé leggings—all of which was greeted by rapturous applause. Nicoll, equally proud, made his way to the finale and wrung his hands to the camera flashes. He is the usurper of a new generation—and a very charming man.

—Hynam Kendall

Richard Nicoll

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