Nells Nelson Spring 2022 Ready-to-Wear Collection
Having made tailoring the focus of her brand Nells Nelson, Sisi Li typically uses shades of black, navy, and gray, with the occasional foray into army green. But the long months of lockdown, which she spent at home with her husband and son in Manhattan, changed her POV. “I didn’t want black anymore,” she said at a pre-New York Fashion Week appointment. “That’s one good thing from the pandemic, now I see colors.” The colors Li sees for spring include icy blue and pale blush pink, barely-there shades that look like they were lifted from an Impressionist painting by way of Giorgio Armani. As it happens, her gamine-ish aesthetic isn’t far off from Armani’s; see especially the three-piece suit in a knit silk/wool blend in that icy blue.
The pandemic is shifting Li’s thinking about fit, as well, but this isn’t another story about expanding into loungewear or athleisure. Li added strapping details to the waist of shirts that can be worn undone for a loose silhouette, or buttoned for a gathered shape (note the delicate horn button). Either way, the shirts have a winsome femininity that feels new for this label, where sartorialism has always ruled the day. A maxi-length wrap skirt with a similar strapping detail was another appealing development. The exacting Li is never going to be a go-to resource for frills or lace and the like, but with her soft new colors and graceful, fluid shapes she’s talking to more women than she has in the past.
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