“We made the most of everything that happened and didn’t want anything to go to waste,” designer Nicole Miller explained of her resort collection via FaceTime. Prior to the pandemic hitting, Miller and her team were working to design a rustic-feeling resort collection featuring two organic-looking prints — batik and floral — in a palette of rust, olive, navy and white. Instead of scrapping the romantic, western spirited selection of ruffled, Victorian-esq blouses and skirts, easy batik-printed dresses and more utilitarian, signature Miller designs after going into lockdown, the designer embraced new, “do-it-yourself” ideas and designed them seamlessly into the collection.
“When we were in the middle of the pandemic and had everybody working from home, I sent everyone sweatshirts and we all tie-dyed them at home using turmeric and beets and whatever, organic dyes…,” Miller explained, adding, “We’re very DIY here anyway, this company has always been that way. We just merged [the ideas] together quite easily into an evolved concept.” Tie-dyed garments were aplenty — sweatshirts, shorts, a slipdress, a standout, cable-knit sweater and so forth — and embroidery made its appearance on jeans and a sustainable take on crafts came in the form of a statement denim jacket made entirely from leftover waistbands, removed from prior collections’ denim jackets.
Styled with stellar cowboy boots — both new and archival (ones she had used on the runway circa 1998) — from the designer’s former assistant’s Texas-based custom boot brand, Rocketbuster Boots, as well as custom face masks (there was even a wrapped scarf-mask), the collection felt both timely and aspirational through Miller’s rustic-and-romantic, unfussy offerings.