Nicole Bischofer, Head of Womenswear Design at COS shares the visionary behind their AW17 collection…

How did you come to realise that fashion was your calling?
I could not find what I was looking for in the shops and so began making my own garments to fill the gap of the pieces I could not buy. My mother would help me with the pattern cutting, she would work free hand and this is how I began. Later my interest in design progressed and I went on to join pattern cutting courses, this lead to a tailoring course followed later by fashion studies.

What’s your process when you come up with new ideas for COS?
We create seasonal directions together as a team. We take time to research Art, Architecture, Design and Lifestyle, creating a ‘world’ where the ideas are conceptualised. Together with the designers we try to make this world come alive, interpreted as new shapes, fabrics, details.

Do you have any part in the making of the clothes or do you leave it to your team to do it? I have a very good relationship with the team. We take time to discuss and plan each collection. Once we have a final idea in mind and we all understand the inspiration and what we expect from the pieces, the team proceeds with designs, keeping me in the loop at all times.

Your womenswear collection caters for the modern woman. In short, what defines a woman in the Middle East?
Culturally aware

The AW17 collection explores new proportions and soft tailoring. How do you want women to feel when they wear them?
We hope the collection makes women feel elegant, con dent and stylish whilst being functional and working with their lifestyle. Pieces should feel modern and easy to wear, for moving from one occasion to the next.

We hope the collection makes women feel elegant, confident and stylish

What influenced the direction of this collection?
We looked a lot at architecture and especially an Austrian fire station which had these beautiful shades of red and used a new type of concrete material that is very light. This influenced our choice of material as well as parts of our colour palette. We also looked at geometry within art and that led to geometric drapes and outlines in the silhouettes.

What’s your favourite, go-to item from the collection and why?
One of my favourite pieces is a reinvented black poplin shirt with a polo neck collar. It’s a piece which I will continue to wear through the seasons.

What pressures do you face being the Head of Womenswear Design at COS?
I take each day as it comes, every day is different. We work hard to make sure that we are staying true to our brand philosophy whist giving the customer what they want. Each season we will work to find new ways to reinvent classic pieces and offer exciting new fabrics and style.

The GCC is home to some exquisite and eclectic fashion. Which other part of the world do you think has great statement fashion? Many places in the world have great statement fashion and we are continuing to learn from different areas. We have a strong connection with Asian countries such as Japan when it comes to a more minimal, timeless design style however we search everywhere for inspiration.

What can we look forward to with future collections?
As I previously touched on, we take inspiration from Art and Design and our research helps us to decide on new colour palettes and directions. In the future, we will continue to design with Innovative drapes and will always search for interesting fabrications to mix with and reinvent our timeless staple pieces.

COS is situated on Level 1, City Centre Bahrain



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