"I have been an anglophile my while life, and I was totally blown away by the movie, 'The Queen,'" said designer Charles Nolan in the program notes that accompanied the fall 2007 collection he showed Friday evening at The Promenade in Bryant Park. "Helen Mirren's performance was amazing, her whole look, the whole style - the hats, the handbags, the details - was fantastic."
Thankfully, Nolan's homage was anything but slavish, so while their were plenty of Sloaney separates here (roomy felt toppers, flannel skirts, pussy bow blouses, twill riding pants, wool jumpers, oversized cardis, and lots of big Queen Mother hats and boxy handbags), the collection never felt too literal or fusty.
Nolan's use of children and real-women models also helped energize the proceedings (there a few men's looks, too), as did the use of too-cool-for-school contrasting tights and suede platforms. And the designer's ever-evolving "obsession" with the classic button-down, which he tweaked in a myriad of clever ways, included a show stopping white paillette shirt dress belted in black.
"Why real women?" Nolan mused backstage when asked why he chose to use non-model friends in the show. "Because it’s reality; we live in a real world. I mean, they’re just another example of a model and a model is just an example of a customer."
Judging from the audience's enthusiastic response, Nolan is sure to have some very satisfied customers on his hands when this royally successful collection hits shelves come fall.
Photos © Gg/The Bigger Picture Pictures. For additional, larger images from this show, click here