Nina Ricci Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2013 Paris

Elegance and femininity with a coquettish soupcon of sexuality has been the path designer Peter Copping has been taking the Nina Ricci brand down since he took over the label in 2009. This season those three elements were in perfect balance in one of the designer’s strongest shows for the house.

First Copping set the mood by placing the famed French sister pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque center stage on two back-to-back Steinway Grands pianos. Then while the siblings played, blending into one melodic being as they brought to life music written by Philip Glass, the designer began his exploration of the idea of dressing a modern day dancer.

His models, their hair held back in knit headbands, took to the red catwalk in long and lean outfits that hugged the body without restricting its fluid movements. Gone were all of the bells and whistles embellishments that had overwhelmed Copping’s ensembles in the past. Without them the designer’s attention to details, talent as a tailor and clever use of luxe fabrics could be truly appreciated.

Daywear was the real star of this show, in particular the idea of “warm up” clothes. A pair of blush pink cropped “sweat pants” in quilted parachute silk was a winner and had a sexy easy to them. A red jacket with a neckline designed to look as if a sweater had been tied around the shoulders was sweetly nonchalant. And a tartan mohair boat neck top and pencil skirt that turned to reveal a knitwear back, making the slim silhouette more comfortable to wear, showed Copping to be a thoughtful designer.

The lingerie aspects of this show were much more controlled then in seasons past. And the collection was the better for it. Besides the odd misstep, like an ill fitting fur trimmed faux bustier top or clear plastic bra straps, those underpinning elements- the stiff corset-like torso on a black duchess satin dress, a liquid silk spaghetti strap slip dress, the peek-a-boo white tank top finishing off an asymmetrical neckline on a jacket- all melded seamlessly into the ensembles.

And Copping should get points for going with a more understated take on his fetish rose motif. He just hinted at them in the whorls of pleated fabric on an evening dress or embossed the blooms on the tone on tone black skirt of a flocked silk dress.

This collection was worthy of a prima ballerina. But it will also fit the bill for all the women out there who want to play that gracefully refined role.

-Jessica Michault

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