Nina Ricci’s Pure Yet Naughty Moment

Nina RicciPurity would appear to be the leitmotif and buzzword of the current French shows, especially at the tellingly delicate, charmingly refined yet rather risque spring 2012 collection of Nina Ricci shown on Thursday, Sept. 29, in Paris.Since the appointment of British talent Peter Copping at the house, Nina Ricci has been on something of a roll. Every fashion figure of note attended this show, and scores of notable senior editors and critics were refused entry. Not out of any bad manners from the house, but simply because this sort of subtle chic is best presented in an intimate setting before a small crowd.

Staged in a rambling mansion on Avenue Foch, Paris’ grandest avenue, this was a statement collection, in the sense that it defined the mood in Paris – a return to ladylike style, an off-beat sense of mixing eras and shapes and a new take on quietly tough chic.Copping paired quite a few looks with leather bikers jackets, but cut these like mini red carpet capes. He also sent out classy quilted cloque mini boleros and swirling skirts all flawlessly cut, but showed them with twisted up and faintly crumpled bras.

His look was dainty yet downtown; precious yet with punchy panache. Though the clothes were classy, a good third of them were knickers, corsets, brass and boxer shorts.This sort of offbeat sophistication requires that the designer can drape. Fortunately, Copping has a great sense of silhouette and savvy understanding of how to twist a lot of fabric around a women’s body and still make the look slim, sleek and alluring.

The show was also a salutary lesson to designers elsewhere – notably in New York – on how to combine sportswear with couture. Where many others simply graft on fencing, boarding and extreme sports elements, Copping revamps these ideas into smooth feminine ensembles that keep the clothes graceful, yet add an authoritative air.Take his white embroidered looks, where fabric flower pockets contrasted to the ever so faintly armored style of the jackets, so that the actual sport was irrelevant, but the result fresh and cool.

In a season with a bucolic sense of floral prints, Copping offered Alpine choices, finished with micro belts and done with just enough rouching and pleating. His wide weave Jockey hats had a Polly Magoo mood, while his furniture style platform shoes imparted a certain sense of wackiness.This was the finest fashion display so far in Paris, and a proclamation that next spring women will dress in a nonchalant style, unfussy clothes with a distinguished air. – Yahoonews