For me, day one of NYFW began with Nicholas K, and ended with a trip to the Top of the Rock to meditate on the tones of the city from 850 feet above it. The runway show felt militant (in the best sense), with a rhythm perfectly matched to my nerves. But later that day, perched atop the Rockefeller Plaza staring at a stratified field of blue, I found an ease that made me feel closer to angelic. I am endlessly grateful to the Rock for providing my trip with clarity and relief that has since transcended that day, and relocated permanently to my memory.
When it comes to the urban nomad aesthetic, the turn of phrase alone commands authority: suggestive of a rebellion whose claim extends beyond liberty to include reign of the very city. In the land of urban nomad fashion, Nicholas K rules supreme. The fall/winter collection unveiled at the stomping ground of The Dock reflected this assertive austerity.
Citing Arcosanti as muse, yet shown in the concrete jungle of New York City, the collection kicked off with an underlying irony. This ominous tone carried into the start of the show with discordant music, the feral quality of which both excited and unsettled the audience.
Rugged leather and wood (and their spartan applications as head armor) were paired with docile silks and velvets alike, giving the notion that for a nomad, no material is unsuitable...the nomad's power is such that utilizes any material in his path, molding it onto his existing uniform. As a result, the juxtaposition of DNA layering with decadent velvet, structured leathers with liquid gowns, stoic lips and satin slips dissolves in a harmony unusual for a contrarian...but one all the more mesmerizing.
The resultant impression is that of clothing as physical manifestation of the nomad's movements through a city. The palette likewise adheres to this concept of transition. Its progression through natural hues such as monsoon, night shade, amethyst, earth, desert, dunes, carbon, smoke, and dust presents another symbolic layer poised to dismantle the infrastructure status quo. Though the collection graded from one color into the next as a unit, each individual look constituted its own self contained spectrum, in which the dominant hue was deconstructed into variations on the shade. Between the hair, makeup, and layers of garments, a monochromatic brown ensemble could be broken down into three or four different shades of brown. It is these nuances which made the collection a pleasure to behold, that are most difficult to convey or do justice through words or photographs.