What is the essence of the Nina Ricci woman? That’s the question Peter Copping explored at his show at the Jardin yesterday, and the answer he reaped was a most satisfying one. Not that we didn’t have more than a hint already. She is refined and polished, but she’s not without nonchalance. She enjoys ease as much as she revels in luxury, and she demands both from the moment she rises to start her day until nightfall when she caps it off.
Copping pulled in elements of interior decor (he happens to be a big buff), and took the full 24 hours of our daily lives into consideration for a well-balanced collection that captures both the small details and the big picture. The tactile array of sumptuous fabrics, from brocades and jacquards to velvet, cashmere, and guipere, are not unlike those you might find in your glamorous grandmother’s home. But don’t for a moment think that richness necessarily translates to heaviness. There’s no bulk or heft here; the feel is light and sheer, with peeks of skin coming through the oversized embroidered lace and bunch-able, see-through sleeves. Indeed, a sensual sheer embroidered gown brings the boudoir to the red carpet, somehow with no shortage of class.
Petal-soft turtlenecks in lilac and berry; slouchy leather skirts that speak of comfort and not restraint; and elements of pillowy fur in unexpected places, like splashed over a collar-less coat, capelet-style, or added like a full skirt around the bottom half of a car coat: this is ready-to-wear for the fully evolved woman, who’s at once modern and not afraid to toy with traditional notions of femininity — and use them to her utmost advantage. The daywear is addictive: languid pajama pants, bonded neoprene skirt suits, and double-faced blanket coats you’ll want to take refuge in whether you’re outside or indoors.
And then there are the bags you will undoubtedly covet. Discreet matte crocodile totes are structured sculptures with a hint of slouch, graphic clutches have eye-popping elements of high-contrast adornment, the fur- and snakeskin-accented hard boxes will elevate even the dullest of evenings, and the sumptuous cowhide tote (a favorite) is decadently, irresistibly savage. They make equally beautiful home accessories as they do arm candy because as Peter Copping knows, women like beauty in every realm of their life.