Fashion

Expressing women's true essence and beauty with confidence, style, and sustainability

In a past but treasured life, I founded and ran an eponymous custom bridal business and a women’s ready-to-wear collection. As a fashion designer, pattern maker, and couturière, I created timeless garments that showcased women's individuality, through sophisticated design, exceptional fit, and quality construction.

Luxuriously crafted in the finest silks, laces, and reclaimed fabrics from deconstructed vintage garments, my hand-made couture wedding and evening gowns were one-of-a-kind pieces designed to fit and empower my clients.

Later, faced with a recurrent struggle to find tailored dresses that also catered to my active lifestyle, I created an off-the-rack line of elegant styles that allowed the professional woman to effortlessly move from a client meeting to the dance floor.

With a direct-to-consumer model, my business and brand strategy included numerous interactive marketing and sales events, from trunk shows with comedic storytellers to runway shows featuring professional swing dancers.

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I loved working with Nicole, and I knew that I was in very good hands. Nicole has great taste, and I really trusted her instincts, design decisions, and overall skill.

She is also a really nice person and easy to work with, so the fittings were fun and comfortable. Nicole is very patient, which I found to be helpful especially when I was needing to make certain decisions. I really enjoyed the collaborative process of creating something that was so me.

- Cassady, custom couture bridal client

Projects

READY-TO-WEAR

Candy Collection

Fun, feminine, flirty styles inspired by swing dancing and tailored for movement

Conjuring up the whimsical world of pastel-colored candies and the playful airiness of bubble gum and cotton candy, the Candy Collection moves with you. In Lindy Hop, the signature dance move is called the swing-out. It’s an opportunity for the female to reveal herself in a full range of expression and let go. Uniquely swinging out, feeling confident, looking modern, being timeless, that’s the Candy Collection.

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READY-TO-WEAR

Eva Collection

Sophisticated, fresh, flattering styles for day to night, designed to complement a variety of body types

Designed for women with active lifestyles who value style, quality, and function, the Eva Collection takes care of the professional woman. Pairing vintage-inspired details with stretch silks and activewear linings, the elegant, staple pieces of the Eva Collection are patterned and styled for life’s adventures. Uniqueness over trends, confidence over fashion risks, being comfortable while still looking tailored and professional, that’s the Eva Collection.

READY-TO-WEAR

City Collection

With the rise of the Millennial and the rapidly growing freelance and small business workforce, the City Collection allows freedom of expression and relaxed dressing to eclipse the passé power suit.

Extending professional style beyond the corporate dress code in a feminine, fun, and truly functional way, this collection offers a high level of comfort without sacrificing sophistication. Draped and patterned to enable freedom of movement, providing a polished look, and designed to celebrate real women who make their lives and their styles their own, that’s the City Collection.

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BRAND STRATEGY

Nicole Lenzen New York

Brand identity and content strategy for the direct-to-consumer womenswear brand designed for the woman on the move, consciously made in New York.

Operating within a slow-fashion business model, the Nicole Lenzen New York collection is versatile and seasonless. The product is catered to the discerning woman who seeks out brands with a unique point of view over mainstream trends, who invests in quality over quantity.

Whether introduced to Nicole Lenzen New York at an interactive trunk show, pop-up shop, or online, customers engage with a rich and authentic experience of the brand. Once introduced to how well the styles fit, feel, and move through life, customers soon become repeat buyers and brand ambassadors, creating natural word-of-mouth promotion.

CUSTOM COUTURE

Reclaimed vintage wedding dress

Retaining the magic of playing childhood dress-up while infusing Patti’s vintage + modern style were key to transforming her mother’s wedding gown into the dress of Patti’s dreams. The fun new silhouette was cut to showcase Patti’s best features, while preserving the sweet, delicate feel of the original. Re-purposed lace and pleated chiffon were revamped into an elegant, playful, and easy-to-wear dress perfect for a beautiful outdoor wedding.

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MADE-TO-ORDER

Bridal Collection

Contemporary, minimal, non-conventional styles that evoke the femme fatale with a delicate touch

Offering a fresh take on bridal, the Nicole Lenzen collection of wedding gowns blends traditional fabrics of silk and lace with modern textiles such as denim made from organic cotton. Designed for the confident, practical, stylish bride, the easy-to-wear silhouettes encourage more fun and less fuss. The contemporary collection of unique, made-to-order styles in high quality fabric and construction was created as a more accessible alternative to a fully custom Nicole Lenzen haute couture gown.

CUSTOM COUTURE

Mother of the groom dress in hand-pieced lace

Intricate details paired with clean style lines form a striking blend of elegance and modernity

Strength and beauty were the underlying influences on the design of Carol's dress. French Chantilly lace in ecru overlayed with navy silk shantung formed the chic color palette. Made on century-old leaver's looms in Calais, France, the lace was print engineered to match at every seam. Decorative details complemented the fluid lines of the bodice and the simple silhouette for a sophisticated result.

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CUSTOM COUTURE

Brooklyn bridal gown

Cassady's wedding dress was a fitted but soft silhouette with a sweetheart shaped strapless neckline, hand-draped bodice, and ethereal skirt. Formal yet playful, strutured yet ethereal, the custom-fitted gown was ideal for Cassady's summer wedding in Brooklyn.

CUSTOM COUTURE

Biking to the altar in Boulder

For Molly, we designed a fun and flowy tea-length silhouette with a full circle skirt and dramatic low back, in silk gazar over silk taffeta. Materials from the bride's mother's 1970s kaftan wedding dress were re-used in Molly's dress by turning the former crocheted hem into straps, applying an embroidery pattern detail at the back bodice, and using the cotton muslin as inner layers of the bodice.

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CUSTOM COUTURE

A sustainable and swanky wedding gown

Vintage fabrics for the gilded-age Elm Court Estate, the late 19th century country home of the Vanderbilt family in Lennox, MA

As a storyteller with a conscience, Brit had sustainability and sentiment top of mind for her wedding dress. We constructed her gown from three! different vintage pieces - her mom's 1990s wedding dress, her grandmother's 1950s wedding dress, and a 1940s gown sourced from Brimfield antique market.

We restored the fabrics and designed a dress that brought cohesion across generations, while highlighting the true sense of Brit. 

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Brooklyn, NY & Asheville, NC
© Nicole Lenzen 2024

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