Rumors have been swirling since New York that Oscar de la Renta was bringing on Peter Copping to assist him before the next major season. While there have yet to be any official announcements from either party, both WWD and Vogue have been reporting the move as a done deal. If so, that presumably means this is Copping’s last collection for Nina Ricci. But again, no official word is available.

Copping looks back at the post-war traditions of Nina Ricci for this collection. 1940’s stylings aren’t really copied as much as strongly referenced in these looks that a trim but still forgiving, lean but still feminine. One quickly picks up on the old-school glamour inherent with these silhouettes, but this is by no means a retro collection as Copping is very adept at keeping the looks fresh and contemporary. There are some military references early on, with some masculine looks scattered here and there. When he gets to the evening wear later in the collection, though, the look is lace and laser cut flowers.

Duel-sided crepe is the fabric with which Copping is most dramatic. Khaki toned on one side, pink or orange on the other, the effect gives a modern kick to an otherwise monochrome look. He also takes advantage of a number of large scale linear floral prints that hint at the fabric recycling utilized by Mdme. Ricci in post-war Paris, taking dresses from previous seasons and completely re-working them into new silhouettes. These certainly aren’t recycled fabrics, but the prints along with an exaggerated houndstooth also add to that 40s feel.

Hem lines, predictably, tend to run long, especially with tea dresses and pencil skirts. Neck lines are a little more flirty with broad, deep scoops that are perhaps a little wider and a bit longer but still just as elegant. One easily gets a sense of refinement even with the lambskin leather pieces. As the looks grow more toward evening wear, they also become more lacy and more contemporary, but never lose that sense of glamour.

If this is, indeed, Peter Copping’s last collection for Nina Ricci, he is most definitely exiting on a high note. Copping should fit in well with de la Renta’s style of refinement and glamour. The big question would seem to be who might possibly replace Copping. The number of qualified candidates who understand and respect this form of elegance are few.  The next few seasons could be quite interesting for the label. Perhaps one should stock up now.

Photo credit: Regis Colin Berthelier

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