100 Colorado Creatives 4.0: Meredith MacNicholas

A photo shoot styled by Meredith MacNicholas for Soft and Shallow.
A photo shoot styled by Meredith MacNicholas for Soft and Shallow.
Stylist: Meredith MacNicholas, Photographer: Alexander Ablola
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#19: Meredith MacNicholas

It’s rare for the fashion world to represent with a DIY outlook, but Denver stylist Meredith MacNicholas, who launched the underground fashion magazine collective Soft and Shallow in 2016 with photographer Alexander Ablola, is crossing that line. MacNicholas talks about what inspires her — and more — by answering the 100CC questionnaire.

Meredith MacNicholas — styled by Meredith MacNicholas.
Meredith MacNicholas — styled by Meredith MacNicholas.
Photographer: Alexander Ablola

What (or who) is your creative muse?

I create for myself and am mainly inspired to do work for my own self-worth. But if I had to pick a muse, it would be my dear friend and artist Laura Wingate.

Which three people, dead or alive, would you like to invite to your next party, and why?

Martin Margiela, Yohji Yamamoto, and Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta of Eckhaus Latta (so that counts as one person). Margiela and Yamamoto are both such mysterious people that I would love nothing more than to pick their brains — or simply take in their energy. They are first and foremost artists, and have been able to bridge the gap between fashion and art like no one else. Eckhaus Latta is my favorite current fashion house. They are creating innovative designs that do not follow trends or structure of any sort. They give young creatives an amazing example. I also want to become their new best friend.

Behind the scenes, from Soft and Shallow, Vol. 2 Interviews.
Behind the scenes, from Soft and Shallow, Vol. 2 Interviews.
Courtesy of Adam Capetillo

What’s the best thing about the local creative community in your field — and the worst?

The best thing about the local creative community in general would be the amount of genuine humans I meet. I have been lucky to come in contact with so many open and authentic people. It is hard for me to pinpoint the creative community within my field of fashion magazine and styling because it is so small in Denver. There are only a select few in the art community who are styling for fashion photography. With so few people, the field can quickly turn into an incestuous cul-de-sac of ideas. The more people to be inspired by, the better the work is going to be.

How about globally?

To pinpoint the fashion community globally is impossible. However, I do love the overall acceptance of extreme ideas and the willingness to be satirical. As for the worst thing in the fashion/styling/magazine community, that would have to be the white-washing that exists and the lack of inclusivity.

"Girls Gone Mild" photo shoot.
"Girls Gone Mild" photo shoot.
Stylist: Meredith MacNicholas, Photographer, Alexander Ablola

Are trends worth following? What’s one trend you love and one that you hate?

Fashion trends are so oversaturated now with the Internet. They come and go so quickly and bombard you constantly. I don’t think they are worth following. Humans should style themselves in a way that makes them feel most comfortable and interesting. If you follow trends, you’ll never start a new one. One “trend” within the fashion industry that I support is using more diverse models in campaigns, such as people of color, people with disabilities, or transgender people. A trend that I really hate is appropriation of other people’s cultures.

What’s your day job?

I am a buyer at Buffalo Exchange.

You’ve come this far in life. What’s still on your bucket list?

There are so many creative outlets I still want to explore. I’m interested in photography, videography, fiber arts, sculpture, performance art and making more music. I never want to become complacent in my art. Traveling to other cities and countries will be vital to this.

Behind-the-scenes shot from "Gothentic" photo shoot.
Behind-the-scenes shot from "Gothentic" photo shoot.
Stylist: Meredith MacNicholas, Photographer : Alexander Ablola

Denver, love it or leave it? What keeps you here — or makes you want to leave?

I have a very jaded view of Denver, mainly because it is my home town. I’ve seen it turn into this plastic idea of a city. We need to have people here to build an art community, but it is getting harder and harder for creatives to live here. This town doesn’t offer enough opportunity or inspiration in my field. I do struggle with the idea of staying and creating a diverse fashion community, or going to a place where it is already established.

Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?

I would have to say Coleman Mummery, but he is known by many names. He is one of the only people in Denver making things that make people feel uncomfortable. Art doesn’t always have to be pretty, and it definitely doesn’t have to take itself seriously. He is a visual artist and musician, but first and foremost he’s a performance artist. He is constantly making work, but check out his newest project, Goblin King of the Pop Stars. He would also hate that I am promoting him through any publication, especially Westword.

Another behind-the-scenes shot for Soft and Shallow.
Another behind-the-scenes shot for Soft and Shallow.
Stylist: Meredith MacNicholas, Photographer: Alexander Ablola

What's on your agenda in the coming year?

In the coming year, I will be moving to New York City to explore new creative outlets. I want to style as many photo shoots as possible, become somebody’s assistant, rub elbows and learn all I can.

Who do you think will (or should) get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?

Soft and Shallow. Specifically me, Meredith MacNicholas, and Alexander Ablola.

Join Meredith MacNicholas and Alexander Ablola for the release of Soft and Shallow’s third volume, "Wet Ruffles," a visual exploration of male platonic intimacy, at a reception on Friday, July 20, from 6 to 11 p.m. at Melon Gallery, 200 Galapago Street. A related installation by Alexander Ablola, Meredith MacNicholas, Orenda Lou, Sammy Keller, Wade Novotny, Anthony Jones, and Gaia Orr will remain on view at the gallery through the end of July.

Learn more about Meredith MacNicolas online, and keep up with Soft and Shallow at the home page, Instagram page and/or Facebook page.

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