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Nicholas Coutts Talks His Return to Womenswear and A/W 18 Collection

Cape Town-based creative Nicholas Coutts is a designer in every sense of the word. Since launching his brand in 2014, he has used his skills as an expert weaver and talented seamstress to produce apparel and accessories collections for men and women, capsule furniture collection, and interior decorations. Nicholas DIY approach and limited one-of-a-kind signature woven designs have received international acclaim for their ability to stand out in any room and beside any designer.

For the past several years Nicholas has focused his design efforts strictly on menswear. This season marks his highly anticipated return to womenswear. His latest Autumn/Winter 2018 collection, which debuted at Cape Town Fashion Week in the fall, features a variety of printed bags and oversized calf-length dresses, woven skirts and bralettes, and a special layered evening gown that truly shows off his expansive vision. 

In Nicholas Coutts AW18 lookbook, the designer tapped two Ugandan stars, Anyon Susan and Patricia Laloyo (Fusion), to show off his designs on the outskirts of Cape Town. The designer set his luxury aesthetic against the natural landscape of Cape Town, which he's admits, heavily inspires his designs. The lookbook images and corresponding video not only showcases the best of Nicholas Coutts, but the best of the Western Cape's sprawling green lands. 

We sat down with Nicholas Coutts in his Cape Town studio to discuss his latest collection and his biggest inspirations. 

The Folklore: What inspired you to start designing?

Nicholas Coutts: I’ve always been interested in fashion at a very young age and I actually dropped out of school to pursue it. My mom taught me how to weave from quite a young age and I think my passion grew from that. I eventually went to fashion school and grew my skills. I’ve always had the passion to be a designer and I’ve always wanted to make clothes for people and make them feel good and make them stand out. To make clothing that is very textured and tangible to make people feel confident in what they wear.

TF: When you design what type of person do you have in mind? 

NC: I have someone that is confident, someone who is in the creative industry, someone that really wants to make an impact in what they wear or when they walk into a room they want everyone to look at them. I really like to make garments that are quite out there and that have character.

TF: What is it about knitwear/woven process that attracted you to it?

NC: I guess that it’s really the craftsmanship that really attracted me to make the fabrics. The craft behind it really inspires me.

TF: What inspired your latest AW18 collection?

Nicholas: I was very inspired when I went to the crystal pools in Bainskloof. It’s very beautiful out there, there are beautiful rock pools and waterfalls, just that obsession with nature that I have and I really wanted to translate into clothing and the texture that you see in the collection.

Video and Photography Direction - Jesse Navarre Vos 
Video co-direction and cinematography - Alistair Blair
Music - Nicolaas Van Reenen
Models - Anyon Mariam and Patricia Laloyo
Editing - Alistair Blair and Jesse Navarre Vos
Styling - Peter Georgiades
Styling Assistance - Danielle Paul
Colouring - Remano De Beer
MOA - Amori Birch
Camera Assistance - Elie Benistant