Peter Copping brought drama to the Nina Ricci Fall 2013 presentation, positioning sisters Katia and Marielle Labèque at Steinway grand pianos in the middle of his runway to play the Philip Glass song "Two Movements for Two Pianos" as the background music to the show.
Peter Copping stuck to what he called a "resolutely graphic palette" for the Nina Ricci Fall 2013 show, using predominantly black, white, and crimson red for the feminine collection. With nods to 1950s silhouettes in sleek skirtsuits and sporty motifs like fur-trimmed layers, it was a collection made for a modern Grace Kelly. The presentation itself was also fit for a princess, as the sister duo of Katia and Marielle Labèque played at nested Steinway grand pianos placed in the middle of the gleaming red runway. Click through to see the full collection.
Talk about romantic gestures. In Nina Ricci's Spring 2013 campaign, Arizona Muse is captured in a whirlwind of what appear to be flower petals.
Closer inspection reveals the petals in Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin's photos are actually small disks of pink paper fluttering to the ground. Art directed by stylist Alex White and Malin Ericson, the ads call to mind the swirl of flower petals that fell from the ceiling at Peter Copping's Spring 2013 show for the brand last September.
An exclusive first look at the campaign here in the gallery.
Photo courtesy of Nina Ricci
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."
In the three years since Peter Copping was appointed creative director of Nina Ricci, his ultra-feminine collections have restored some of the house's former glory. In a recent interview, Copping discusses the women he designs for — and how his clothing works for them.
On his customers: "I like that women of all ages can take my clothes and project their own personality onto them. I like a total look on some women, but mostly I like it when the clothes are broken down and different pieces are added to the overall effect."
On keeping things light: "There's a lightness to all of my clothes because I believe that women don't want to be burdened with heavy fabrics. Quite often I will even leave my coats unlined and if a woman is chilly, then she will layer her clothing. I will admit that much of my clientele has the sort of jet-set lifestyle that allows them to wear light clothes all the year round!"
On French women: "In France, women always refer to each other's weight in the first greeting. If they tell you 'Oh, you look well,' it's code for 'oh, you look fat.' By contrast, 'You've lost weight' is the highest praise."
On the women who inspire him: "I don't have a muse. I like to stay away from the idea of creating for one specific woman or one particular sort of dressing. I love the red carpet, but I don't want just to be linked to that. Of course, I thought that Diane Kruger, who I recently dressed for Cannes, looked almost perfect in Nina Ricci!"
On working for Marc Jacobs: "I had a very good apprenticeship in my 12 years at Louis Vuitton. By the time I left, I was the design director of the studio, overseeing the womenswear team. That's how Marc Jacobs works: he trusts you and he gives people the freedom to do their job to the best of their ability."
On It bags: "I think the concept of the 'It' bag is nauseating, which is why it's taken me some time to get around to bags properly. Of course, any major fashion house should have accessories, but they need to relate to the clothing and be a progression of and extension of the clothing line. Everything must be in context. I hope that our new 'La Rue' bag exemplifies my theory."
Photo: The Nina Ricci La Rue bag, with flowers illustrated by Jo Ratcliffe.
>> Who better captures the spirit of Peter Copping's darkly romantic, pastel-tinted vision than Raquel Zimmerman — especially as lensed by Inez & Vinoodh? Set in an old manse in Westbury, Long Island, the resulting minifilm for Nina Ricci Spring 2012 is lovely and ethereal — with just enough camera-shake, slow motion, and subversive wind-blowing to keep things interesting.
Peter Copping makes channeling the seductive edge of Parisian chic nearly effortless with Nina Ricci's Fall 2012. Set off in rich berry hues and a decidedly darker palette, Ricci is still all woman, only sexier. Where we're given ladylike shapes — cinched waists and full skirts, Copping finishes in sultry sheer, luxe fur, and leg-baring slits or cutout necklines. Tweedy fabrics in the sexiest iterations banish every image of traditional skirt suits reworked in curve-conscious dressing and patchworked with hints of lace. We get the playful references to lingerie dressing, but with every dose Copping's looks are all crafted with charm. A hint of floral print, pinks and pastels — even on heels finished with sparkly embellished straps — punctuate the black chiffon and deep plum hues giving way to a delightful girlishness in all the grown-up glamour. That's not by accident — Copping explains his inspiration for the collection as "a little girl playing dress up." At its core, that's what it is; it's all romance — both a fully modern, but deeply romantic idea of womanly dressing and a nostalgia for our days of dressing up in mom's closet.
>> "It's about nonchalance and comfort," Peter Copping said of the dreamy '50s-tinged collection he presented today for Nina Ricci Fall 2012. The designer was inspired by the idea of a little girl playing dress-up, and so there was a haphazard glamour to the offering — party dresses and fur collars hung irreverently off the models' frames, sleeves were cut ultralong, and silhouettes were girlishly A-line, or just a tad oversize. Lace, tulle, embroidery, and ruffles provided a sense of naive charm, but the sultry palette of sheer black, garnet, blush, and cream was all lady.
>> Vera Wang was on CNN this morning, weighing in who she hoped designed Kate Middleton's dress; but, now that it's been revealed to be Alexander McQueen's Sarah Burton, how do Burton's other designing colleagues rate the dress? (And one can't help but wonder what Alexander McQueen would have thought of a partnership between his label and Middleton, given that he once famously wrote "I am a c*nt" in the lining of a jacket destined for Prince Charles.) But without further ado . . .
Karl Lagerfeld: “[Middleton] is very elegant. The dress is classic and goes very well in the Westminster decor. It almost reminds me of (Queen) Elizabeth’s wedding, the royal weddings in the '50s. The proportion of the train is good. The lace is very pretty. I like the veil a lot.”
Christian Lacroix: “I like the dress very much, simpler than expected: A combination just in between 1956 Grace Kelly and 1947 Queen Elizabeth dress. I love the modest veil with the Queen Mother’s '30s scroll tiara and balanced volume of the whole gown. She’s radiant; she never was so beautiful. And Prince William’s red Irish uniform is gorgeous.”
Hubert de Givenchy: “The dress is very simple and very nice. The veil is a little flat, but because she has such a lovely face, she can afford to wear it this way. She is very pretty.”
Peter Copping of Nina Ricci: “Very much in a royal tradition, reminiscent of Queen Elizabeth’s — and a little bit Grace Kelly. She looks happy, radiant, and natural.”
Donatella Versace: "Kate's dress was beautiful. She looked very regal."
Prabal Gurung: “I thought it was pretty and appropriate. A high-profile wedding like this is not the place for making a crazy fashion moment. It sounds like an oxymoron but it was a personal moment in a very public place. The dress clearly said she’s a modern girl and of this generation. It was not McQueen at its theatrical sense but McQueen in its quiet but beautiful sense. I loved the bustle and how her silk tulle veil was moving softly in the wind.”
Jason Wu: “I thought Catherine’s dress looked stunning. The details were very well done and I loved the emphasis on craftsmanship and the use of British talent. Her choice to pay tribute to Alexander McQueen was both touching and exciting.”
Viktor & Rolf: “Kate’s dress was simply elegant. Her hair down was a beautiful and natural touch, and the tiara was stunning. She looked as at ease as humanly possible and was radiant. Our compliments.”
Diane von Furstenberg: “The dress was beautiful. I think she is irresistible, she is so beautiful. I am happy it was McQueen. It was absolutely the right thing to do. They made [the dress] simple, so it wasn’t costumey but a beautiful evening gown. I was happy for Sarah, happy for the Met, and happy for McQueen."
Tory Burch: “Kate looked stunning. Choosing Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen reflects Kate’s modern aesthetic and style, but the handmade lace details and craftsmanship are a great nod to British tradition. The lace, the clean lines of the dress, Queen Elizabeth’s tiara — every detail was stunning.”
Donna Karan: “The dress was extremely elegant. For me, it wasn’t so much about the dress though, it was all about her. She was the most beautiful bride in the world.”
Francisco Costa: “Kate’s dress had a classic elegance with a modern edge. The superb detailing really characterized Sarah’s expert hand.”
Oscar de la Renta: “She looked absolutely ravishing. She looked like a bride should look and she handled herself tremendously. And they look like a much loving couple. I am happy to see fresh blood coming into the family. It was a very traditional, beautiful dress which it needed to be for that kind of wedding. Most of all she devastated with her charm. Listen, she will wear anything and will look ravishing.”
Valentino: “I loved the dress . . . it was very simple and young even if a hint of Grace Kelly's dress spoke of 1950s! I loved the flounce on the back of the skirt and the little decoration all around the short veil. I loved the choice of the tiara: simple, pretty, very right for the dress and for her attitude . . . it was used almost as an hairpiece to keep the hair and the veil, not as a heavy decoration. Compared to the famous Diana’s dress, Diana’s was a dress of a fairy-tale princess . . . still a dress everybody remembers. Kate’s one is a very pretty, modern dress that will be copied everywhere but lacks that fairy-tale element. Today most of the new princesses are young, modern, nonroyal women who have clear ideas, independence from stiff protocol . . . they want to be themselves and not anymore a symbol of the crown.”
Reed Krakoff: “I thought the dress was very modern. It bridged the gap between modern and youthful, and was respectful to the position she is in. It didn’t look to traditional or expected though. I particularly liked the neckline. It was more youthful than I expected. The fact that the bodice was fitted and formfitting was great, because she is a beautiful young woman and it accentuated that.”