Little Show Of Horrors — Nicholas K Embraces The Dark Side With Fall 2015 Collection
Gothic looks have been dominating the runways for Fall 2015, with Thomas Browne staging a faux funeral in lieu of a traditional catwalk show, Alexander Wang sending out a veritable Army of Darkness donned in pieces influences by heavy metal icons, and Nicholas K showcasing an eerie but fascinating collection inspired by 1920s horror films. Specifically, the brother-and-sister team behind Nicholas K derived inspiration from the 1920 German silent horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, considered the most influential creation within the German Expressionist movement. In pop culture, this film is best known for inspiring the oddball makeup sported by Johnny Depp in the Tim Burton-directed cult classic Edward Scissorhands: dark lipstick deposited almost exclusively at the center of the pout, raven-colored tresses, and dark eyeshadow swept all along the perimeter of the eye to create a ghostly appearance. But the Nicholas K Fall 2015 show involved a less literal homage to the German horror film. In fact, models’ faces were practically bare, so that the emphasis was on the dip-dyed silk fabrics that nodded to the dresses and robes sported by Jane in much of the black-and-white film.
The collection’s color palette — oxblood, gunmetal, black, rust, and vamp red —conveyed a sinister glamour, while steampunk-inspired accessories like triple strand leather belts, leather aviator hats, and long leather gloves added a sci-fi twist, creating a Mad Max-ian vibe suggesting the existence of a dystopian future. Other influences included the 1986 film Labyrinth, which might have inspired the maze-like pattern and the castle-worthy brick prints on some of the silk satin fabrics, not to mention the distressed leather details.
Though the collection was a departure from previous offerings, it still felt true to the brand’s aesthetic thanks to the inclusion of urban staples like draped jackets and capelets, drop-crotch slacks, leather harem pants, and flowing tops with hi-lo hemlines. But it was the dresses, with their sheer fabrics in somber dip-dyed patterns, thigh-high slits, and deep surplice necklines that created the most memorable moments — particularly given the lambskin opera gloves, silk stockings, leather belts, and witch-y Huntress x Nicholas K necklaces used to style them and create the feel of fearless vampire hunters, of apocalyptic femme fatales, and futuristic coven leaders.