For most of us fashion peeps, the days leading up to the Met Gala in September will go down as one of the most chaotic times in history. Between the jam-packed NYFW schedule and abundance of afterparties — plus the VMAs thrown in for good measure — you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone in the industry who wasn't sleep-deprived and manic toward the end of it all.

Kenneth Nicholson, the LA-based designer known for broadening the narrative of menswear, actually showed his Spring 2022 collection in Spring Studios the day right before the Met Gala, where he dressed the race car driver Lewis Hamilton and CFDA Chairman Steven Kolb (so you can imagine the stress involved with fittings for two important outings back-to-back).

He chronicled the entire process via a short documentary premiering exclusively with PAPER, which captures the two weeks leading up to both his romantic, '90s grunge-themed show as well as fashion's biggest night. We see everything from Nicholson in his studio interviewing with a New York Times reporter to him unpacking his creative mindset when designing a collection (it involves a lot of music) to finally the craziness backstage at his SS22 show.

"I have always thought that the process of creativity is interesting and there is a certain romance when you are creating," Nicholson tells us about creating the video. "Sometimes the beauty of going through the cycle of development can be taken for granted so it was nice to give myself and others this medium to capture the work and some of the methodical nature of the process as opposed to just the end result.”

Nicholson, a big fan of film and storytelling (his NYFW film last September played with themes of toxic masculinity and the importance of art), describes his label as being at an inflection point this year — he was also a recipient of the 2021 CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund as well as a finalist for Emerging American Designer of the Year at November's CFDA Awards.

"This seemed like the ideal moment to capture this time and the intimacy of the experience," he adds. "As we continue to grow out of the emerging design label and as a business become larger, this point in time for Kenneth Nicholson will be an important archival piece to look back on.”

Check out the fill documentary, below, as well as his unreleased Spring 2022 lookbook.

Photography: Alex Currie

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