Every designer label needs a signature — a look, a color, an embellishment, even a logo — that sets them apart from all their competitors and makes their work instantly recognizable.
Nicole Gill may have found hers.
The precocious British corset and lingerie designer’s new collection — her fourth, by age 24! — is called Signature Stripe and, as the name suggests, is based on a crisp interplay of graphic stripe patterns.
There are eight style ranges offering a variety of complementary pieces, but only two shades — ivory and charcoal. The result is an ensemble of subtle textures and mix-and-match pieces that create clean, tailored silhouettes.
Nicole Gill has a penchant for taking one good idea and building a wardrobe around it. She did it last year with a memorable set of all-burgundy silk pieces inspired by Miss Saigon, and the previous year delivered the black-and-gold Parisian Romance collection that captured some of the ornate luxury of French style.
The Signature Stripe collection was apparently inspired by some of the more sophisticated styles of the 1970s, although, let’s be honest, there was a lot more polyester floating around back then and nothing like the glossy stretch silk satin and wispy crepe that Nicole uses here.
And despite its uniform look, the new collection also shows Nicole stretching her design talents into new areas. She started out as corset maker originally, but Signature Stripe includes a sleek kimono, several bra and brief styles, a girdle, a babydoll, an edge bodysuit and a somewhat daring ivory blouse with a cute Peter Pan collar. In fact, it’s the first Nicole Gill collection that doesn’t include a corset — although you’ll her skill at creating contour garments in the Monique longline bra and the Autumn girdle.
The Signature Stripe collection lacks some of the eye-popping dazzle of Nicole’s earlier work, but it’s easily her most mature collection to date. Time to stop thinking of Nicole Gill as an up-and-comer; she has arrived.