Nicholas K’s Shaman Warrior
Nicholas K kicked off Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City by returning to American roots and examining the sacred history of Native Americans, specifically the Ndee or Apache Nation. For their Spring/Summer 2014 collection titled ‘Shaman’, brother and sister designers Nicholas and Christopher Kunz’s show began with a warm orange glow that radiated from the runway platform. As if the sun was rising, onlookers were transported to a nomadic environment with the compelling chants of John Trudell’s poetry, ‘See The Woman’. Words of courage, feminine spirit, and a strong heart floated around the show tent until suddenly, the warrior woman was seen.
Adorned in a swooping alabaster floor length jacket, t-shirt, pants, and antler white peep-toe booties, the Nicholas K woman breathed purity. Her eyes were of earthy browns echoing face paint and her hair braided.
“I liked the fishtail braids, headbands, and feathers,” commented Jade Emory from L’Oreal. “I especially loved the loose feel to the garments and later on, the black leather jackets.”
Similar to the Shamans, who were swathed in a variety of textures, the collection highlights a range of free flowing fabrics. Matte gauze with gleaming lurex represents speckled desert stones, while linen and suede boots pay tribute to moccasins. Nicholas K’s silhouettes are reminiscent of light dancers who are mystically uninhibited and lively.
From a palette of bone whites, the collection proceeded to the sands, nudes, and earthy golden hues of our origins. Comprised of both women and menswear, this season’s urban voyage takes us from delicate elegance to mighty combats. To the beating of the drum, models marched out in army green shirts and granite shorts. Echoes of Steven Meisel’s celebrated ‘Make Love Not War’ fashion editorial were heard.
Night began to fall and we were carried to a darker moment in the collection. Midnight tones and onyx evoke the rising smoke of fires to unlit skies. Mica, a mist color, is allegedly supposed to have divine and life-giving qualities. The feathers in the headbands are natural turkey quills to signify the strength of the Apache Medicine Men.
Artisan Andy Lifschutz designed exclusive jewelry for the collection, utilizing metals that demonstrate the power of the combatant. Brass, bronze and silver cast from leather are paired with exquisite crystal rings. It is undeniable that Nicholas K’s shaman warrior is the perfect combination of grace and force.
Words / Sheri Chiu
Follow her on twitter @schiuonthis