When a million white petals fall from the ceiling at the start of a runway show, the natural conclusion to draw is that the corresponding collection is probably going to be very romantic and probably very sweet. Not so at Peter Copping's Spring 2013 outing for Nina Ricci.
After the lovely display of snowing confetti (so transfixing was it that when it finally ended several minutes later, the audience clapped and cheered), the twinkling classical soundtrack changed to grungy techno pop and the first looks out the gate were dark, disheveled, and even a little bit street. There were fishnet tops, leather straps, and exposed zips, while the models sported slicked-back hair and kohl-smudged eyes. Blazers, pencil skirts, and dresses were cut in deconstructed layers of silk charmeuse and chiffon, and collarless jackets and prim car coats came in outré fabrics like iridescent tweed or shimmering feathers. It was all very woman undone, or as Copping's show notes put it in a quote from Baudelaire: "The airs that have charm and constitute beauty are . . . a mixture of childishness, nonchalance, and mockery."