“My goodness, quite a lot of these girls have bangs, don’t they?” I said to myself as I wound my way in between the minute amount of space between the hairstylists a-hairstyling, makeup artists a-makeup-ing, and manicurists a-manicuring backstage at Nicole Miller’s Spring/Summer 2017 presentation. “How on earth did casting manage that?” Well, it’s quite simple: they didn’t. Led by Tomo Jidal for PHYTO Paris, the hair team installed faux bangs atop many of the girls’ heads for a tousled, French-inspired bohemian chic look, and the match to models’ regular hair was uncanny. I don’t know that I would have even noticed if someone hadn’t mentioned it to me in passing. The fringe fell moodily above the eyes, which were covered in a quick, equally moody smoky eye by makeup artist Erin Parsons using Maybelline cosmetics. The look was developed with both famed French actress Bridget Bardot and ’90s grunge in mind, this tight-lined eye done by smudging a black eye pencil. Parsons referred to it as “taxicab makeup,” something you can do quickly in a taxi and still look fabulous.
While the beauty at Nicole Miller was of French extraction, the ensembles were created while thinking about a different geographical location: Panama. For Spring/Summer 2017, Nicole Milller focused on Panamanian folk art and contemporary New York City culture, in a collection aptly entitled “Panamania.” Miller has become known for her bold use of patterns throughout her career (yours truly even wore a green and black chiffon dress of hers to her senior prom), and her designs for next summer continued the trend with brightly colored embroidery alongside classic shapes and defined angles, beads and asymmetry, ruffles and patchwork. I was especially drawn to some of the more minimalist designs, like a white poplin button-front shirt with a hi-lo hem and a bright blue beaded maxi dress. All of the looks, though made me imagine a woman on vacation to an exotic yet urban locale. Wherever she goes, France, Panama and New York City are not too far behind.