Nicolas Vaudelet: The Iberian Breton

Retrato Nicolas Vaudelet por Chesco López

He is one of the most outstanding designers in the Spanish scene, presenting regular collections, dressing some of the most elegant women in the country and abroad and is currently pretty active in costume design for ballets and theatre plays.

It’s a cold November afternoon and the cold rain settled in the Spanish capital. Umbrellas mark the human landscape around Gran Via and Plaza de España. It’s one of those days when it feels like staying in, reading a book or watching a movie while the sky pours its guts and washes the street. But a couple of blocks down, between this main square and Principe Pio, in a quiet street, dozens of Madridians and some foreigners face the weather with courage and elegance. Women arrive in long coats, the high heels defying the slippery and wet sidewalks, men in trench coats and fashionistas, press and editors in their usual trendy attire. It’s Tuesday night and this is the place to be this evening. Outside a poster reads Nicolas Vaudelet, indicating the venue of yet another fashion show by this Frenchman who has become a household name in Spain.


Born in France, Nicolas worked for some of the major fashion houses from Givenchy to Louis Vuitton, Lacroix, Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexander McQueen or Christian Dior before reaching Spain where he still lives and where we met him for the first time, in Seville where he was working for El Caballo, a brand from Seville aspiring to reach a new clientele. The invitation to come to Spain came after meeting Joaquim Cortés for whom he had designed a costume while working at Gaultier. And the opportunity to working for a brand with a strong legacy, to work with some of the best leather professionals would prove a challenge Nicolas was dying to meet. The years at El Caballo proved fruitful for him and particularly for the brand and Vaudelet managed to bring this traditional Andalucian brand to a new level and to a new clientele. Showing at Madrid Fashion Week was a logical step to reach new clients and for some time this was the privileged stage for the shows by Vaudelet for El Caballo.

Photo: Alberto Saguar

Photo: Alberto Saguar

Madrid would become increasingly the city of choice for Nicolas Vaudelet and, when he decided to go solo, this would become his home, a city closer to the wider world and the right place to venture with his new brand. His first collection Krasna Zima made a big hit. With a strong Russian influence, it was full of detail and attitude, bringing us back to the days of Russian chic in the 80’s. One day after the show of French Britany inspired collection “Fréhel”, in 2012, Nicolas conducted us through his studio where we had the opportunity to check the designs and some of the items of that collection and of “Fréhel”: bits and layers of cardboard used for the modelling of the Russian inspired overcoats, leather ties and small pieces of delicate fabric used to make the difference in dresses. It’s here in the basement of West Park Studios that Vaudelet designs and tries the different fabrics for his clients, from well-known TV presenters to affluent Kuwait women, along with a number of Spanish women for whom Nicolas has become the designer of choice. After a successful work for El Caballo and four collections solo after Nicolas now has a strong following in Spain, hence the hundreds of people filling the West Park Studios rooms for his shows to see Joan Dark, his Spring/Summer 2014 collection, an obvious French reference, a recurring reference, like the one we saw when we first visited this place one year ago for the presentation of “Fréhel”, a sort of homecoming to Nicolas origins in Bretagne.

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