Ken Russell’s iconic portraits of 1950’s Teddy Girls – all boot-lace ties, drainpipes, pompadour haircuts, cigarettes and brooding attitude – provided inspiration for Richard Nicoll’s first Laurel Wreath collection for Fred Perry. While the SS/11 collection might be influenced by the pseudo-Edwardian dandiness of the era it’s very much a contemporary take on an irrefutably British subculture.

‘I like the idea that something as conservative and traditional as a cameo brooch could become subversive in the right hands. From here we referenced my acid colour blocked SS/09 sportswear influenced collection and added old-fashioned elements like pointelle cardigans and mother-of-pearl laurel brooches for branding. I also mixed sport jersey with lurex piqué and brocade cottons to create a clash of sport and traditional 1950’s couture elements in dynamic but recognisably 1950’s colours such as eau de nil and peach’ says Richard Nicoll.

The end result is a perfect balance between the femininity of Nicoll’s own label and the more masculine sports tradition of Fred Perry. It is a collection that gives Fred Perry womenswear a bold and distinctive new personality and places the famous laurel wreath logo firmly on the women’s fashion map.

According to Fred Perry’s MD, John Flynn, ‘Richard was the perfect designer for the brand to partner. His signature style of feminising traditionally masculine shapes and silhouettes suited us perfectly. Like most people who work with and for the brand he is a true fan and has an understanding and respect of Fred Perry’s unique history and heritage.’

The new collection is available from 24th January 2011. Please go to www.fredperry.com for stockists.

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Fred Perry, Ken Russell, Richard Nicoll,