Nichole De Carle is a DMU graduate in the world-renowned contour fashion course. Since graduating in 2005 she has worked with brands such as Alexander McQueen and Donna Karen. In 2008 Nichole set up her own brand ‘Nichole De Carle London’. Since then she has built up an astonishing client list working with stars such as Nicole Sherzinger, Jessie J, Paloma Faith and Beyoncé. Nichole’s designs are elegant and classy and draw inspiration from High fashion and contour.
After the success of Beyoncé wearing Nichole’s design for the Grammy’s, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nichole herself on her time at DMU, her successful career so far and of course her reaction to Beyoncé wearing one of her stunning designs.
Hello Nichole, how are you?
– Still excited about Beyoncé wearing Nichole de Carle London! What a busy week it has been.
What was it that inspired you to go into contour fashion?
– I always had a passion for couture. Having completed the foundation course at DMU, I was given an insight into the world-renowned course that specialised in creating contour garments to fit the body perfectly. I discovered that the level of precision and skill required to create a bespoke contour piece resembles that of couture, which has inspired me to make a career in contour design.
What was it like when you were a student, studying Contour fashion at DMU?
– The course programme itself was very challenging, but I found that it also prepared me for the industry requirements. I chose to spend my time during the course also taking on external industry placements in order to get a better understanding of how the industry operates, which proved to be extremely helpful for industry opportunities after the university.
Who would you say was your biggest inspiration when you were a student?
– My mother was an inspiration to me in terms of strength of character and ambition, whilst my passion for design was influenced a lot by Alexander McQueen.
What was your biggest dream when starting out in contour fashion?
– I always wanted to have my own luxury lingerie brand!
What was it like working for brands such as Alexander McQueen and Donna Karan?
– Generally working for both companies was a very different experience – in terms of my responsibilities as well as the way two companies operated. Working for Donna Karan I learned the specifics of the corporate world, while at Alexander McQueen I was concentrating mainly on product development.
As a brand you strive to challenge the immediate perceptions of lingerie within the market, what has been your biggest obstacles/challenges when trying to achieve this?
– The design signature of the Nichole de Carle London brand is very strong and the quality of the garments created needs to match this. The biggest challenge to achieve this has been creating the right foundation to develop and produce this type of product, with a focus on manufacturing.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your designs?
– I design three collections per season, and each collection is inspired by something specific: Onyx collection, for example, is inspired by the complexity of the Chrysler building design, while the Classics collection modelled itself on the structure of Westminster Abbey. Softer in style, more feminine Opal collection was inspired by the baroque style as I was walking through the halls of the Louvre Museum – hence the use of exquisite silks and laces in the range.
What is the thought process/ set up when starting a new collection?
– There is a lot of research involved; I closely follow the new developments in the world of couture and high fashion, which is where I may take my inspiration from. I also think about my customer – there is in fact a specific image of Nichole de Carle London woman I design for, which also embodies my personal vision.
How would you describe your style and how much of it goes into your work?
– I would describe my personal style as structured with emphasis on fit and quality of fabrics, which is also represented in my designs.
Which designs have been your favourite and most challenging so far?
– My favourite pieces were the Dreamcatcher Basque Bra, sold at Selfridges as a limited edition exclusive. In fact, the idea of the Dreamcather Bra came about during those sleepless nights creating the graduate collection! As for the most challenging project, it would probably be developing a bespoke piece for Nichole Scherzinger within a very short time frame – this is where the perfect fit really is key!
What would you say have been your highlights of your career so far?
– Beyonce wearing the Onyx Tuxedo at the Grammys was certainly one of them! Seeing Nichole Scherzinger perform, looking stunning in a piece developed exclusively for her was also a memorable moment, as well as designing the Diamond Knicker as Selfridge’s Christmas exclusive.
How were you approached for having Beyoncé wearing one of your designs for the Grammy awards?
– It is not the first time we get styling requests for Beyonce – she has a wonderful team of stylists around her who are very comfortable with our products, fit and style. Karen Langley had made a wonderful selection for this performance and Beyoncé rocked that stage with Jay-Z!
Did you ever think when you were studying at DMU that Beyoncé would be wearing one of your designs?
– Everybody would love to be dressing such an iconic representative! While studying, I did see myself designing luxurious and exquisite in style pieces, and therefore did imagine celebrities of such level wearing my designs.
Who would you like to design an item of lingerie/ a collection for?
– Jessica Alba, as she is the perfect example of the contemporary woman – beautiful, talented, a great mother and a successful career woman.
What advice would you give to current and future DMU contour fashion students?
– While studying, get as much industry experience as possible – it really pays off when you start working professionally in fashion.
Where do you hope to see yourself and Nichole De Carle London in future years?
– For Nichole de Carle London to become one of the market leaders within luxury lingerie: for myself, I would still like to be very much involved in managing affairs of my company.
I would like to say thank you very much to Nichole, for taking the time to be interviewed by the Demon Media Fashion team.
Check out the article in the up and coming Demon paper in two weeks’ time. Also check out Nichole De Carle for their latest designs and news.