Design Stars

Rancho Santa Fe welcomes two New York-based fashion icons

Posted on June 20, 2018

For more than 25 years, Nicole Miller has been designing wearable clothes that are also modern and sexy. The secret is in the construction — pleating, ruching, and tucking that Miller has become known for. “I went to an event recently and a woman stood up and said, ‘Thank you, Nicole, for the ruching,’” she tells Ranch & Coast with a laugh. “It gives a thin girl curves and then, for a curvier girl, it hides a lot. So everybody seems to like that kind of technique.” 

Miller, in town for a fashion show and luncheon at Rancho Valencia to benefit Promises2Kids, introduced “Tropical Safari,” her spring/summer 2018 collection. “The premise was that a girl goes on a safari but she packs wrong. So she goes off with her safari jackets and stiletto heels,” explains Miller, laughing at the absurdity. “It really was a fun collection to do.”

Miller says she was “molded” by her parents, acquiring technical ability from her father, an engineer, and a sense of style from her fashionable, Parisian-born mother who always read French fashion magazines and bought French dolls for her children. In fact, Miller never had an American doll until she designed a Barbie for Mattel.  

So what’s next for this talented designer? Miller is bringing back an eponymous line of men’s ties; big news for those who collected them decades ago. “They were so popular in the ’90s,” she recalls. “But men got very conservative and then stopped wearing ties altogether.” The new line won’t be “as loud” as in the past, but will still offer a bit of “whimsy.” Miller’s women’s fashions are available at department stores and at the Nicole Miller boutique in The Forum Carlsbad. 760.632.7000, nicolemiller.com

Yigal Azrouël celebrated 20 years of design at a trunk show in Rancho Santa Fe to benefit The Country Friends. The Israeli-born fashion designer showed off his spring/summer collection and took orders for pre-fall, a collection he described as “very architectural with beautiful, cut-out details.” It includes sculptured leather jackets, tailored shirting, soft velvet gowns, drapey black jersey dresses, and a sizzling red off-the-shoulder sheath. Azrouël collaborated with painter Nir Hod, photographing fall designs in front of the artist’s massive paintings.

Azrouël tells Ranch & Coast that while he believes in empowering women with his clothes, he also wants designs to be “fun, colorful, and with an edge.” Shape and proportion are important to the New York-based designer who likes to “play” with fabrics, for instance, by adding accordion pleating to several of his floral jacquard pieces. To mark his brand’s 20th anniversary, Azrouël also reached into his archives, rediscovering vintage designs. For fall, he recut older designs to make them refreshingly new. His collections can be found at his flagship store on New York’s Madison Avenue, as well as at leading specialty and department stores. 212.302.1194, yigal-azrouel.com   Andrea Naversen

Design Stars

Design by Yigal Azrouël