The first real post-lockdown vacation is one of the universally acknowledged thrills of reemergence, and for Nicole Miller, that trip was to the Bahamas. Long cocktail dresses with sleeves The designer headed straight to Kamalame Cay at the end of the year for a refresher, and the time away from New York proved beneficial. Island vibes and the lure of the tropics were key themes within Miller’s pre-fall collection, which imagined her downtown muses on holiday—or at least in the mood for one. “There’s something so great about being on the beach and surrounded by palm trees,” Miller shared via Zoom. “Just [feeling] that tropical vibe that’s so inspirational.”
Recreating the Bahamian atmosphere for her lookbook imagery with a trompe l’œil photoshoot, she began with a series of botanical patterns featuring the region’s lush vegetation on backless mini-dresses and peasant blouses. The flowers skewed sweet, but Miller added edge via studded leather jackets in black and a nice shade of burgundy. Both colors paired well with the flirty ’90s-style silhouettes of slip dresses worn with combat boots and leopard print minis with built-in corsets. Dresses for winter formal Handcrafted details elevated the best pieces; a tiered maxi dress that featured an orchid print water-colored by one of Miller’s assistants was especially compelling.
Even though you could take any of Miller’s creations to the beach—particularly the ruffled taffeta mini-dresses that begged for warm weather—they’re most likely to be embraced by the cool girls of the concrete jungle. Long sleeve white dress maxi As much as she wanted to infuse the collection with island ease, the need for rebellious, rock and roll-worthy looks was top of her mind. “We did a lot of corsetry detailing and lace, but it isn’t girly,” Miller said. “Everything’s paired with combat boots and leather jackets, so it’s sexy without becoming overt. [Instead] there’s a hard-edged femininity, and it runs through the entire collection.”