NIKOLAKI GLAMAZONS: Model Line Up right before the show: All the Models used were either from The Bahamas or elsewhere in the Caribbean, including Trinidad and TobagoI'm BACK! Yes, last week I finally returned to Los Angeles from debuting my Spring 2009 Collection. Of course, I did not just show my collection (along with my design partner, David Paul) but I had a whole week's worth of activities, official welcoming parties, judging duties (for Next Gen and EcoFashion Awards), hours of fittings and alterations, and somehow got to sneak in some "fun time" in the Caribbean sun--but more on that in a separate post.
Cover Girl: Bahamian Supermodel Kamela in NIKOLAKI gown, on the cover of the latest California Apparel NewsI was invited by Mode Iles Ltd./The Montague Group, producers of the first ever Islands Of The World Fashion Week, to show my line, NIKOLAKI, in Nassau, The Bahamas. David and I began the process of designing the line over 6 months ago. Just Friday, after getting back to LA, we received the wonderful news that our collection (or one of the gowns from it) made the cover of the California Apparel News publication, THE West Coast fashion industry "bible". I guess that we must have done something good.... Inspiration:
"La Epoca de Oro" of Mexican Cinema. It was very glamorous then. All I kept imagining were images of Divas like Maria Feliz and Sarita Montiel in their couture gowns, furs, Cartier diamonds...They were truly women with innate (and individual) style. They had no stylists picking those Dior gowns for them back then; they flew to the Parisian Ateliers and ordered them themselves. I wanted to give a nod to how fabulous they were but at the same time, bring it to 2009. We knew we were going to do a "Red Carpet" collection of mostly gowns and cocktail dresses and the theme seemed ideal. Make-Up and Hair:
I wanted every detail to be perfect. I even sketched out my ideal for what the make-up and hair should be for the show, which we sent weeks in advance to the YSL Beaute professionals who would be doing their artistic magic on the fabulous models. Spring Colors: Models in their NIKOLAKI gowns, posing right before the show, Islands Of The World Fashion WeekSpeaking of models, the day after we arrived, we had our official fittings and saw over 20 beautiful models, mostly from the Bahamas or neighboring Caribbean islands. I don't know what it is about the Caribbean but there must be something in the water that breeds over 6 feet tall girls!!! We also used models from Brazil and the US, that were brought in from a top Miami modeling agency.
Golden NIKOLAKI Statue: Trinidad and Tobago 16 year old Supermodel, Micheline, in a bias-cut gold silk lurex one shoulder gown with Swarovski vintage brooches (photo courtesy of Islands of The World)Fabrics: The Collection:
We concentrated on glorious colorful silks: Red and golden Zibeline, canary yellow silk crepe back satin, raw silks with Lurex, as well as as fluid liquid jerseys (also in silk). We split the collection into two "sections": One based on the use of stiffer fabrics (such as the Japanese Zibeline), creating defined silhouettes through the preciseness of architectural shapes and construction. And one based on my love of draping and the "Grecian Goddess" silk jersey gowns we also love to do, since we felt a "sense" that these would be a continued trend for Spring 2009.Give 'Em Back Girl: Back view of Golden Beige Silk Zibeline strapless gown with cascade detail
Vintage Brooch: Detail shot of NIKOLAKI gown with Swarovski jeweled and crystal George Wittels brooch (photo courtesy of Islands of The World)Couture Touches: We added special Couture-like touches , such as Vintage George Wittels Swarovski pins and brooches, which we attached with several of the dresses. David even hand-sewed hundreds of Swarovski paillettes and sequins (two 6 inch straps took 18 hours to finish!).
The "Marylin Monroe" Gown: Bahamian beauty Vanessa Pritchard, modeling NIKOLAKI bias-cut hand-sewn paillette silk chiffon Goddess Gown (photo courtesy of Islands of The World)Along with the glorious silks, for Spring '09, we decided to "turn it up a couple notches" on the "red carpet" luxe level, by using some fabrics we deemed as our "Novelty Fabrics", including some hand-beaded sequined silks from India, as seen in the gown above which is completely made of hand-beaded sequin paillettes sewn over bias-cut silk chiffon with an attached Zibeline strapless corset. The gown weighed over a ton! (sorry Vanessa). Shoes:In terms of accessories, we were privileged enough to have used these divine shoes provided by the fabulous Michael Antonio Footwear Group. We used their higher-end line from Michael Antonio Studio, which also had jeweled and crystal detail and embellishment, which coordinated perfectly with our gowns.
Who's The Diva Now? Kamela in crimson red backless silk crepe back satin NIKOLAKI gown (photo courtesy of Islands of The World)In the end, I was very happy to debut my Spring 2009 NIKOLAKI Collection at the first ever Islands Of The World Fashion Week and proud of the hard work David, myself and my amazing "petite main" of seamstresses had painstakingly put into it. According to the last press reports we had read (it has been only a week after all) the collection was well received and I can't wait to return to this wonderful Paradise to show my collection next year. Click HERE to view more photos of the collection.