The “Wadi Rum” Collection by Nicholas K
This article was published in Fordham Fashion Journalism
The SS17 collection by Nicholas K brings its audience to the dry and sandy Wadi Rum desert under the scorching sun. Inspiration comes from the movie “Theeb,” which portrays the life of Bedouin culture in the mysterious Wadi Rum, where desert dwellers exercise a life of simplicity and demanding efficiency. The people’s lifestyle contributes to the brand concept of practicality and functionality carried by Nicholas K. The Wadi Rum Protected Area is located in Southern Sudan, which joins together massive canyons and wind-shaped natural sand plateaus in a dusty palette of beige, according to the press release.
Nicholas K brilliantly uses layers and folds to resemble waves after waves of plateau rising from the endless desert. Lightweight silk drapes on sides of the floppy hats like the long headscarves popular in the Wadi Rum area.
Buckles, straps and fastening ropes play less of a role in this season compared to the past, but the free flowing capes and silk dresses and were occasionally belt-fastened, accented with column-shaped horizontal bags.
Elizabeth Garcia, Blogger at Eli-In-The-Walkin, compared this season’s runway show to that of last season as a second time goer to the brand’s showcase. “The show was pretty amazing. I think it was even better than SS16,” Garcia said. “The materials on this year’s collection were more metallic and colorful.”
Materials were as natural as every particle in the Wadi Rum desert, including vegetable dyed leathers visible in calf length leggings, jackets and vests, and alpaca constructed clothes.
Vegetable dyed leather is made with the use of tannins and other ingredients found in different vegetable matter, like tree bark prepared in bark mills, wood, leaves, fruits and roots. These ingredients give off brown colors and other shades when mixed with chemicals and applied on leather. Sustainable dying techniques enable infinite possibilities in colors, shades and layering as endless as the desert and canyons in Wadi Rum.
“I have always loved the work of the siblings Kunz. I love the original way of mixing materials,” Garcia said regarding the use of sustainable and creative materials. “I found it trendy and futuristic. Earth and metallic colors are among my favorites for the upcoming seasons. I’ve seen how they’re becoming more prestigious year after year.”
Ashley Pletcher, Blogger at Afternoon Espresso, commented that her favorite pieces were the trench coats. “I am a huge fan of trench coats so I am really excited to see those coming into play more,” Pletcher said.
Lightweight trench coats with layering collars were was represented throughout the collection playfully executed in white, beige, brown and in a few two-way ombrés.
While colors popular among womenswear this season are pink and white, Nicholas K’s spring collection dives into a sea of darker hues, such as metallic grey, darkest black, earthy beige and forest green to create a sense of mystery in the layering silhouette.
“It was a little darker palette than what I normally go with, but they are very neutral so you compare with lots of white and brighter things that I typically go for so I think it looks great,” Pletcher said.
Red, green and yellow shades in earthy tones were used on the garments. “I loved the dusty hues. I thought it was a really authentic and different take on the neutrals,” Alan Louis, a fourth-season Fashion Week goer and Blogger at The Jam, said. “You can really do a lot with them and they are really stand-out pieces. I really liked how everything was really windswept and kind of like a mystical vibe.”