Nina Ricci: The Ring Master

It's taken time for us to get to a good, a really good, collection in Paris. This season, so says the chatter out and about and around between shows, has not perhaps been the strongest. But then along came Guillaume Henry and Nina Ricci, a pairing that continues to serve up delights. This was a great appointment, he is a designer who knows how to turn around a brand – as he did so at Carven before.

 


Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION

His Nina Ricci is sexy and the looks solid, polished, the quality great, everything finished just as it should be. It feels weighty where prior to his arrival it all felt rather wafty.

He picked up from where we left off last time for a colour palette in nearly neon pinks and turquoise, tangerine and lemon drizzle, nude and stone. To an abounding femininity that radiates from the brand, he brought structure to temper it with A-line pocket-front leather skirts and billowing shirts, beautiful trousers and fun cycling short styles – which actually didn't look as wild as reading written down might be.

 


Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION

Asymmetric black dresses sat atop blouses, fringe at their bottom for a craft feel but it never felt unkempt. Nina Ricci is all about the polish. And these never felt bulky either. Trench coat dresses were as elegant as they were effortless and circus fun came by way of feathered little party dresses or jackets, trailing dainty boas, and French Foreign Legion-style hats. Epaulettes and jodhpurs further tapped a military and uniformity element, while, in contrast, cascades of fringe made for ring master antics – which further came in the Dracula-shape capes, pointed at the shoulder, and jackets to match too, the sharp square jagged shoulders of which could have maybe been left behind but it made for a point (if you'll pardon the pun) of difference and gave character. Meanwhile, the cape wraps that had peekaboo slits at the back where they zipped around the collar were the ideal new take on a jacket or wrap that wouldn't ruin the dress beneath. Simply put, this was a great collection.