High school’s best cliques are always the most elusive, but the muses of Nicole Miller’s fall 2022 collection are especially aloof. You can’t sit with these girls, nor will they invite you to chill with them behind the bleachers, but the insouciance is what makes them irresistible. As someone who has been dressing cool girls for decades, Miller understands the draw, and she turned her collection into an overview of the archetype. In the corresponding fashion film and gif images, multiple versions of the teenage rebel archetype are depicted in a faux detention hall complete with a chalkboard. “We’ve got five different personalities, some are ‘good’ girls, others are ‘bad’ ones,” says Miller. “Either way they’re all getting into some trouble.”
Time in SoHo had Miller thinking of tartan and modern ways to interpret the motif. “We looked into the punk aspect, London in the’70s and ’90s” she says. “I didn’t want to do a British-themed collection, but I feel excited about tartan for the first time in a long while. That led us to think about how we could use it differently and be innovative.” Some of the season’s plaid variants skewed girly—a yellow and black color scheme will always bring thoughts of Cher Horowitz—but the best pieces adopted punk’s DIY spirit. Brooklyn’s L Train Vintage provided the wealth of flannel button-ups that Miller repurposed into a patchwork of clashing prints on off-the-shoulder dresses and on-trend lace-up bustiers.
The youthquake vibe should appeal to Generation Z—who better to wear that sequin flecked trompe-l’œil “slipdress” than Olivia Rodrigo? But Miller also experimented with luxe new techniques destined to be worn by women born before Y2K. No amount of allowance money will get the average teenager one of Miller’s woven lamb leather coats, but their older sisters will have fun wearing them. Still, inventive items like the oversized graffiti jackets and lacy babydoll dress with puffy sleeves should prove appealing enough to pull the kids away from DePop and its ilk.
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