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Nicola Formichetti: "We need more explosions of fun"

Upon walking in to the raw warehouse space where Nicola Formichetti staged his Nicopanda Fall/Winter ’16 show, you were immediately greeted with a prodigious, glitter-coated platform that instantly struck me as familiar. At first I couldn’t quite place it, but then it hit me—a model’s clavicle, yes, but also where I’d seen such an imposing display of glitter before: the collar of Paris Hilton’s late dog, Tinkerbell. That, or Mariah Carey’s innards. Either way, the effect was riveting. And even more so the clothes, worn by a mix of boys and girls.

The first handful of looks mirrored the set—long coats, bombers, and cargo pants showered in bronze glitter. Looks that could have walked right out of Formichetti’s new FREE magazine. There were neon shaggy jackets and black pants with multiple hanging straps—predictable looks from the creative director of Diesel and former design director to Lady Gaga, who, with every passing year, manages to be more in tune with youth culture.

But then things took a turn for the unexpected—namely, the romantic. A collection of blouses and dresses that were slightly Edwardian and slightly Victorian shuffled in. Dresses you’d like to wear while frolicking in a field, filling a wicker basket with berries. And one you’d like to keep on after, when you inevitably drive to a deserted area to crush those berries, smear the juice on your face, and then head to a rave. Y’know—an average Tuesday.

Enchanting, red velvet dresses in similar Edwardian silhouettes followed. They were worn with hoods that may or may not have been detachable and were fastened to the head in an asphyxiating way.

Finally, the Edwardian looks morphed into a couple long, tiered dresses in a yellow, pink, and purple swirly ‘60s print. Long gloves were worn throughout the show, but it was the elbow-length yellow gloves that were paired with these tiered looks that stood out the most. I don’t cook, but if there’s anything that would get me to dice up some zucchinis and toss them into a ratatouille, those gloves would be it.

After the show, I got to chat with Formichetti about the inspiration behind his collection, and how he stays zen.

I loved the collection. It was so awesome.  

It was fun, right?

It was amazing. What was the idea behind it? 

Nicopanda is always about street culture, especially in Asia, and in Japan, where I’m from. That’s how kids wear [their clothes], just mix[ing] things up. I love the idea of people wearing contemporary clothing mixed with vintage clothing. I found a lots of incredible 1940s dresses and we interpreted them in sweat fabric, in t-shirt fabric. It’s sort of like a hybrid of retro clothes mixed with contemporary clothes. We pulled lots of 3D graphic designs. My show was an explosion of fun. You know, I want to do something fun and positive. We need to do more stuff like that.

What was the idea behind the hoods?

They remind me of traditional Japanese kind of samurai [style]. It’s nothing specific. It’s from my memories when I was a child of traditional Japanese clothing—a little bit ninja, a little bit samurai, and then we put ribbons on it. We actually made a mask and it felt very negative, so I turned the mask upside-down. It was a mistake, but it was a beautiful mistake. So, we kept it.

I love FREE magazine. When is the next issue coming out?  

In about a month. I just shot the last cover last week, so we’re just trying to print it at the moment.


It’s cool, right?!

Yeah, I love it. You obviously work so hard and you’re so accomplished. Do you have any secrets? Do you have a secret vitamin you take or something like that? 

I meditate a lot. I try to be healthy in my mind and in my health. So, I train a lot and I meditate a lot.

Congratulations. I love the collection.  

Thank you.

More runway recaps, right this way.

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