Nicola Formichetti Serves Up Eyes Wide Shut Realness
Walking into Nicola Formichetti’s Nicopanda presentation, we were immediately struck by an unexpectedly fabulous element: the smell. The entire place was filled with a smoky, floral perfume, and we kept taking in giant gulps of air, probably whilst making some very undignified “mmmmm” noises. The scent, a collaboration between Formichetti and perfumery Aedes de Venustas, added to the presentation’s luxurious feel. It took place in a former gentleman’s club in the Financial District, a grand, extravagant building that provided a perfect contrast to the clothing, which was advertised as a collection that “explores two seemingly opposite personalities: the graceful aura of ballerinas and the rampant rebellious nature of punks.” It was genderless, and a male model sported our favorite dress, which was made of a glittering nylon tulle. We adored a black patent dress with sheer shoulders, and a shiny oxblood button down, worn by a model with fantastically bitchy attitude.
The presentation was divided onto two floors: one with a pale, pink color palette, where antique furniture was shrouded with netting for a Mrs. Havisham vibe; and one with a darker feel, the entire floor covered in material from garbage bags. Some models were given cigarettes, and most gave deathray-like stares to the audience, which included Lady Gaga, wearing a witchy shredded dress. The dark manor house, combined with the barely-clothed male models lining the hallways, gave us the impression that an Eyes Wide Shut-style orgy was about to break at any second. It was decadent. Formichetti himself was kind and friendly. As he playfully tickled the pom-pom hanging off of our necklace, he spoke to us about the collection, glamour, and that delicious smell.
Congratulations, this is a beautiful collection! This smell is amazing. What is it?
We collaborated with this company, Aedes de Venustas.
Oh right, in the West Village! Will it be for sale?
Yes, of course!
Well it smells unbelievable. How would you describe the scent?
The scent is sort of like different worlds colliding together, with a bit of spice, a bit sweet, and also a little bit bad, you know? And that’s the collection, actually. Street punk meets girly, seventies girls you know? Bad boys meet good girls — everything’s genderless, and ageless, and this is how it should be.
I love the way you’ve directed the models, especially the smoking. And what was the inspiration for those fabulous naked boys in the hall?
I thought it was important to just have some hot guys greeting you! No meaning behind it, but it’s very important, isn’t it?
Definitely. Obviously Gaga is here, and I’ve read that you’re very inspired by Brooke Candy. This venue reminds me of her “Opulence” video. Are you attracted to this sort of dark glamour?
For sure! But also, this used to be a gentleman’s club, and I thought it could be fun because we could smoke in here. I love disrupting these bourgeois places.