Today, in the Thought Kitchen, Peter, our Creative Director (aka Maestro of Panache), reveals a few secrets behind the new spring line, why it’s different from seasons past, and why he likes a good pair of heels.
Off the grid: There are 35 new styles for spring with a lot of jackets and blazers. Why so much emphasis on outerwear in a season that is traditionally more about shedding layers than adding them?
In reality, the spring and summer season travels through a lot of weather conditions. With that in mind, we wanted to make sure that our collection was well-rounded and reflect the seasonality of this time of year. When a brief storm flies through, you want to make sure you have the proper outerwear. So the key to the collection is creating pieces that, although they might have an outerwear sensibility, they have a great quality that you can layer with all of the other items in the collection.
Ok, can we talk plaid? It seems like such an antiquated pattern, yet it’s back.
When people think of plaid they always think of multiple colors and 90′s grunge. But plaid is a great opportunity to express 90 degree lines in subtle context and colors, so it becomes an architecture of the cloth and an expression of the weave. Plaid is a great way to take a technical fabric and soften its presence by offering this classic weave that has been around for decades. For us, it means taking something that is perceived to be technical in a solid fabric and making it more approachable, more stylish and more familiar.
And there’s a lot of plaid in the women’s line and a lot more styles on the women’s line.
This season, we wanted to expand our women’s collection, so we spent a lot of time focusing on special silhouettes and how they can layer with one another. It’s a beautiful collection that offers both wonderful textiles in checks and plaids and beautiful cotton Tencel knits, and interesting silhouette changes. Our Ribellyun Long Sleeve is an interesting study in oversize, drapey, very luxurious feeling fabric. We have some beautiful textiles in our studio group. The cotton/lycra blends are done in silhouettes that are approachable and less specific in their end use. They are great in a gym or a studio setting, bouldering or climbing, or worn with jeans.
Draping fabrics, tailored pleats, 1950’s inspired designs, even some new colors in the line: how does this mesh with or deviate from Nau’s overarching design philosophy?
We take a lot of inspiration from a lot of different eras for every one of our collections. And inspired by a lot of retro, tailored clothes. Whether it be the high waist of yesterday’s chino, or beautiful pleating and draping, beautifully crafted couture pieces, or vintage pieces for that matter and we apply them to present day use with the intent of performance and comfort. We are obviously drawn to end use and how it interacts with the wearer and how it makes someone feel confident, stylish.
And your favorite piece to design?
It was the whole gesture of the pieces. When I approach the season, I look at silhouettes I want to explore, then I create a palette of silhouettes. What I enjoy the most is refining and subtracting what all of the styles represent in the expected world. Take the traditional trench: it’s boxy, geriatric, with clunky fabrication. You take away all those things, then you add what a concept of a trench could be in today’s world, like protection, minimal pocketing. If it’s for the bike, you add an expansion pleat. Leaving your office at dark, so you need reflectivity. So you’re breaking down how a design is good, then rebuilding it using today and tomorrow as the guideline and the judge.
Ok, here’s a free ticket to New York. You’ve got to leave now. What are you going to wear?
Most definitely, the People’s Chino Pant, the Basis t-shirt, and I would throw the Jaunt and the Succinct Trench in the Motil Ped. Every single one of these items is easy to take care of and stylish enough so I could go out to the galleries or for a nice long hike.
Now if I were cross dressing, I would take the Ribellyun Long Sleeve top for sure, the Ribellyun Tank, and I’d also have the Check Me Out shirt to throw on top of that. I would also take the Succinct Trench, the Flaxible Skirt and the Stylus Pant. So you would have this really beautiful, stylish set of layers perfect for styling up or styling down. Oh, and a good pair of sling back heels to accentuate the calf muscles and draw the booty out.