Just two years old, L.A.-based Clover Canyon really burst onto the scene this year after many a young starlet was snapped on the red carpet in the label’s signature kaleidoscopic prints. And paparazzi-friendly body-con dress shapes don’t hurt either.
But for Spring 2014, designer Rozae Nichols took a decidedly more grown up turn and evolved her aesthetic into more sophisticated shapes accented with refined and innovative details. The collection, christened “Local Light,” is her love letter to Southern California, influenced by an extensive list of sixties Modernist architectural, design and artistic influences. Name-checked on her very high-brow laundry list of inspirations: light artists Robert Irwin, Dan Flavin and James Turrell; pop artist Roy Lichtenstein; designers Charles and Ray Eames; and architect John Lautner’s famed Chemosphere, the octagonal spaceship-looking house located off Mulholland Drive.
“I actually had a beautiful [vacation] this summer,” Nichols said in describing how her inspiration came about. “And I just really wanted to celebrate being home and celebrate the local lights and the domestic bliss of being home in beautiful California.”
The designer translated her happiness through sculptural and architectural silhouettes: crisp and structured knee-length fit and flare dresses, bell-shaped crop tops paired with skinny trousers, palazzo pants and streamlined long jackets. The closest thing to a body-con tank dress was fitted pencil skirt matched with a piped bra top—but covered with a coat.
Nichols played with innovative fabrics and textures: iridescent organza overlays, mesh-like perforated neoprene (the bell-sleeved top and collarless jacket were especially eye-catching) and transparent embossed rubber. Obviously, each piece was printed with a mélange of graphics calling architectural blueprints, colorful light prisms and sunny SoCal landscapes to mind.
Now, Olivia Wilde, Beyonce, Solange, Zosia Mamet, Zoe Saldana and Pretty Little Liar’s Shay Mitchell have all been snapped this year wearing Clover Canyon psychedelic print-happy designs. How does Nichols feel about the celebrity affinity to her designs?
“Oh my goodness,” she sweetly answered. “It’s so thrilling for me and the team and it’s so flattering . We call them our muses. All the young beautiful women wearing the clothes. It’s so beautiful.”