Nicholas K likes to play to its strengths. That said, the past few seasons have seen designer Nicholas Kunz taking tentative steps toward expanding the vocabulary of her brand. The results have sometimes been mixed, but this time out, Kunz uncorked a winner. Her belted silk-satin trousers for women, with their blouson folded leg, really helped to refresh the Nicholas K womenswear silhouette and elevate the tone of the collection as a whole. They should find the brand some new fans. Elsewhere in the women's collection, Kunz largely reiterated her recurring themes—lots of draping, and lots of experimentation with parkas and anoraks. (Is an anorak still an anorak when it has a poncho-like draped knit body? Comments welcome from any philosophy majors reading this.) The collection's seventies inflection was a debt to Soylent Green, Kunz explained after the show, while the colors here were extrapolated from Lyonel Feininger.
Kunz's menswear stuck to its guns. This was fairly standard fare for the Nicholas K man; the big news was the application of pockets inspired by vintage pigeon-hunting jackets, and color-blocking that served as a nice development for Kunz's signature desert palette. The one real surprise was the solitary men's sweater, hand-knit out of linen and boasting nautical cream-and-faded-blue cables and stripes. The sweater didn't quite work, but the idea seemed worthy of further exploration. Maybe its presence in the show is proof, in fact, that Kunz is now ready to extend her cautious experimentation to menswear.