Nicole Miller Spring 2012

One of my favorite party dresses is by Nicole Miller; it's strapless, bright magenta chiffon, and it never fails to draw compliments. In spite of that, I tend to associate Miller with a very tough, strong, sleek, sharply tailored silhouette; her daywear is very geared toward the New York woman, and by extension, it relies heavily on shades of black and gray. So imagine my surprise at her show on Friday, which delved into Miller's own '80s archives and was inspired by wheels in motion, i.e. bikes and skateboards—it was a lot of color and print, and once I got over my initial surprise, I found it superfun. It's definitely a younger, sportier influence for Miller, but it was interesting to see how she worked the theme into her signature trim sheath dresses and otherwise body-conscious separates. The prints were wild, and I am always a fan of bright color, but to avoid too much of a good thing, I think the most successful looks were the ones where the brightly printed pieces were paired with more subtle solids. It felt like a natural evolution of fall's colorblocking, and so far, bright '80s surfer-skater inspiration has been one of spring's biggest emerging trends, proving that Nicole Miller not only knows what's next but that she can show you how to wear it in a realistic, modern way.

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