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Clover Canyon Designer Rozae Nichols on Her Freewheeling Spring 2013 Inspiration

One of our favorite new labels, Clover Canyon, showed a great spring lineup of digital prints and mixed patterns inspired by designer Rozae Nichols' drive down the West Coast. That vagabond sensibility translated into silk and neoprene separates and dresses, most splashed with the brand's now-signature photo prints—which this season depicted desert landscapes and automobile interiors along with the usual paisleys and scarf patterns. Read on for our chat with Nichols.

Lucky: So this collection is titled "On the Road." Tell me about the story behind this season.

Rozae Nichols: Literally, it was about our countless road trips through the Southwest. Really cultivating and bringing back the memory and the texture of that, and weaving that into the collective experience of my team and where we like to travel.

Did you hit the road with your whole design team in tow?

Sometimes, but it's really more about us exploring a lot of memories and the wishes of where we'd like to go. That's usually how we start the collection, a lot of dialogue. What places did we experience throughout our travels, or where did we wish we'd gone? Crazy roadside diners, funky motels...and then weaving the interiors of those places with the vast landscape and the tradition of what we do: the paisleys, the foulards. It doesn't interest me to just do photographic images, it's really about a narrative—the photos have to resonate with the other textures, the other patterns. And those paisleys and foulards are classical, they're mathematical. They'll always be a part of our repertoire.

Was there any other sort of inspiration you played around with?

Americana. We looked at American quilts, collaging them together and then printing them on sequins. A lot of trompe l'oeil textures, the burlaps and the South American hand-weaves, using them to frame the landscapes. We also had a great time with the idea of the car. L.A. is a car culture, so it's in my face all the time. I've been to a low of lowrider shows, and we have a beautiful car museum in L.A.—the Petersen Car Museum. I actually grew up racing motorcycles and spending time in the race pits.

Did you have a favorite stop along this road trip? Or several?

Marfa, Texas, the Walter De Maria Lightning Field out in New Mexico, and the Spiral Jetty. And I've traveled to Mexico by car many times.

Do you have a personal favorite piece from your spring collection?

I have a couple favorites...definitely the "Road Trip" caftan, which is so gentle and captures the quiet nature of the trip. And we framed it with our tongue-in-cheek foulard prints, which we imagine to represent the Formica and the wallpaper in these funky little motels. And then the "Roadside Diner" jacket, which is framed with the foulard too. It's got a little bit of that rockabilly glamor.

Lastly—and I hope this doesn't seem weird—I think it's really cool and coincidental that you've released a collection titled "On the Road" around the same time that Jack Kerouac's novel of the same name is being made into a movie.

I love Jack Kerouac! But this collection's a bit more optimistic than that. I'd say it's more Johnny Cash than Jack Kerouac.

Photos: Alexander Porter/BFAnyc.com

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