Saturday, February 12, 2011

Nicole Miller's Interpretation of Gattaca

Nicole Miller's Fall 2011 RTW collection was mostly inspired by the great sci-fi film Gattaca, a powerful work exploring a future in which people are genetically perfected prior to birth and those born naturally become second class citizens.

One look at the collection and you can instantly see the contrast between the intricately structured pieces and the more flowing and organic ones.

Nicole Miller Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear Nicole Miller Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Miller also represents the film's philosophical struggle through the mixtures of fabrics, contrasting futuristic metallics with soft knits.

Nicole Miller Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear Nicole Miller Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Without elaborating too much, there is also a very significant water motif throughout the film, from which Miller pulls her variety of blues, as well as particularly significant uses of fire, giving us the contrasting red in her later pieces.

Nicole Miller Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear Nicole Miller Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear
Nicole Miller Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear Nicole Miller Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear
[Photos from]

All in all, it's a great representation of a fantastic film, and not being present at the show, it made me wonder what music might have accompanied the models strutting the runway. If Miller were to envision the music as literally as the fashion, she would probably lean towards an artist who balances structured electronics with softer acoustic instruments. Several artists came to mind immediately such as Thom Yorke and Ladytron, but then I remembered Nine Inch Nails' 2008 release Ghosts I-IV, a 36-track compilation of unnamed instrumentals and I knew I had the perfect fit.

Like Gattaca and Miller's collection, there is great contrast between the artificial and the natural. Electronics are placed side-by-side with acoustic elements, an art at which Trent Reznor, the man behind Nine Inch Nails, has always been a master. Take a listen to 34 for a perfect example of this contrast.

A black background with a wavy, white, hill-like shape on the bottom. The words "Nine Inch Nails Ghosts I–IV" are featured in the middle.

"34" from Ghosts I-IV (2008)
Nine Inch Nails

When it comes to the film, Miller's collection, or the Nine Inch Nails album, the struggle between artificiality and the natural world is ever present, but the end result, despite all the questions that may arise, is that despite this tension, and perhaps more likely because of it, there remains an ability to create extraordinary beauty.


In Gattaca, Uma Thurman plays Irene Cassini, a woman whose parents chose to ensure that she had the best of their genetic qualities, but who nevertheless was born with a high probability of heart failure, placing her in a vague middle ground between the two social classes. Her wardrobe is muted, always high-collared business suits which make her almost indistinguishable from those around her. What Nicole Miller did was to take that concept and make it more extraordinary, such as with this suit or the high-collared coat.

 Nicole Miller Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear Nicole Miller Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Whereas Irene Cassini's wardrobe is ambiguous from the standpoint of time, Miller's looks have decidedly more modern touches. So here are some great pieces to put together your own forward-looking Irene Cassini look!

Exaggerated Neck Black Sweatshirt vintage 1980s Cummerbund midi pencil skirt
black belt-suzi roher adjustable pewterbuckle belt nickel black ankle boot-chic stiletto ankle boots

Exaggerated Neck Black Sweatshirt by Subsequent $123
Vintage 1980s Cummerbund Midi Pencil Skirt from Slideshow Vintage $28
Suzi Roher Adjustable Pewter-Buckle Belt from Nieman Marcus $123
Black Ankle Boots from Forever21 $27

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