Velvit Welcomes The Ørder
The Order's Nicole Maret talks fashion, the duality of magic, and her dark fashion aesthetic.
We sat down with Nicole Marét, creative genius behind The Order, for a one-on-one take on her fashion inspirations.
Velvit: What is the driving force behind your art?
Nicole Maret: My love for magic. I am completely enamored with the suspension of disbelief, and the powerful vulnerability it creates. When you see "magic," your logical mind is well aware that it isn’t real, but if you allow yourself to stop trying to make sense of it, perhaps you wonder if maybe something magical really did take place. It's in the precious moment that we allow reason to pause that the seemingly impossible can become a reality. The underlining theme for my first collection was the Magician Tarot card from the Rider Waite deck, which represents the boundless and infinite. The Magician’s right hand points to the sky while the left points downward, which signifies the duality of life. The Magician is the liaison between two different worlds, the same way we are our own agents between what we know and what we don’t. I apply that concept to everything I do, in the fashion that I create and in my life.
V: When did you know you wanted to be a designer?
NM: When I was in third grade, I had an unhealthy obsession with The Baby-sitters Club. Claudia was my favorite, partly because she hid junk food under her bed, but mostly because she refused to adhere to any fashion rule whatsoever. I recreated my own versions of her outfits every day, with total disregard for practicality. My favorite "design" involved two pairs of leggings that were cut in half and safety pinned back together so each leg was different- somehow my parents didn't think there was anything wrong with this.
V: Name one living artist who has inspired you.
NM: Isa Genzken. She's best known for her collage work, but what I love most is a series of x-rays of the artist herself doing things you should absolutely never do in a hospital. There’s an x-ray of her drinking wine, another of her smoking a cigarette. The whole concept is cheeky and subtle at the same time; a testament to how she was able to slip past a very regulated system and get away with it. Ultimately, [being an artist] comes down to being who you are in an environment that may not support your habits or beliefs, but doing it anyway.
V: What era would you want to have a moment in?
NM: The 80s! I would love to have a ridiculous moment in a club during that time, Delorian and Aquanet at the ready. I love excess. Too much lipstick, too many scarves, too many glasses of wine – there’s no such thing as too much. I absolutely love the idea of overindulgence.
V: When you work on your collections, what type of women do you design for?
NM: I design for women who have a very dark and non-conformist style, who want to keep their edge but still operate within the confines of what’s accessible and considered street appropriate. These are women who want to be able to wear what they feel like wearing on a daily basis, without needing a specific event to really be themselves.
V: Name three pieces of clothing you could wear every single day for the rest of your life.
NM: My black-on-black spiked Louboutins, if pain did not exist. They're dangerous on and off of my feet, but I will gladly hobble around in them for as long as my sad toes can muster. A piece from my first collection, the Duality vest – that piece epitomizes everything I do. And the Whitney bra from Agent Provocateur that goes with everything from blazers to chiffon tops to roughed-up t-shirts.
V: What are you wearing right now?
NM: A Style Stalker leopard bralette, a Rick Owens tapered raw-edged tank top, and my own Augury leggings from my first collection. I’m also wearing black sneaker wedges, because it’s Saturday. Don’t tell anyone.
V: Is there a certain place where you have been most inspired?
NM: When I lived in Santa Barbara, I loved running on the beach at dusk. The city is positioned at a unique angle on the ocean so at that time of day, the sun set and the moon rose simultaneously. It was such a beautiful and unusual perspective, and I always thought it was a great metaphor for life. At that moment, and at any moment, the world is in your hands. You can choose to go left or right, but both are equally powerful. You can't make only left turns because you'll end up right back where you started, so in order to recognize your full potential, at some point you have to honor both.
V: What is your ideal?
NM: I had a specific ideal in mind, but sometimes life changes overnight and you're forced to re-align everything. My new ideal is simple, but it's my guide right now, and it's to be completely, 100% dependent on myself. No one else can tell me whether or not I can do something, and I want to grow my confidence to a point that no one can take it away from me. Fashion is one of the first things that I ever truly lost myself in, and what makes me happy and confident is just to create. It’s an expression of who I am and who I want to be.
V: What advice would you give aspiring artists?
NM: The best advice I can offer is that you have to really, truly want it and never let that desire fade. You have to be willing to make compromises to put your work first, because the moment you stop is the moment someone else pulls ahead of you. The Order is why I get up in the morning, and it’s why I don’t sleep at night. What I wanted in fashion didn’t exist, so I wanted to create a brand for myself and for those who believe what I believe. People still rarely expect me to wear what I wear, to speak the way I speak. I still get eye-rolls and trivia questions when I wear my Metallica shirt, and I hate that I'm expected to look a certain way in order for that to be "acceptable." More than anything, this endeavor has taught me how to defy expectations constantly, and it’s so fun.
V: What can we expect from your second collection?
NM: The concept for my second collection is loosely based on the origin of fairy tales in the 17th century. The pieces will be more feminine, still focused on leather and silk but with the addition of softer organic materials like horsehair and lace, as well as elements of raw crystals. The idea of reflection is paramount in this collection, particularly the duality between what we see and what others see. If I had to describe the collection in two words, I would say it’s rebellious and refined.
For more information on Nicole Marét and The Order, visit our Artists profiles and shop our Velvit boutique.