Womenswear Resort Collections act as a tease for Spring’14, giving the press and buyers s sneak peak of what’s to come and also acting as a signifier of what seems to be working or conversely, bombing for the money-men at the design house. Resort is viewed less as a whimsical link to new season and more, a weather-vane to success.
Also, as world weather patterns have been so unpredictable of late midst full scale global recession, coupled with quick availability and feedback through digital media, strictly defining A/W and S/S collections and what we can expect from them is becoming more and more meaningless and irrelevant. Consumers actually want sweaters in May and June to deal with cold snaps in Spring and Summer and short sleeves & shorts (much more a defining fashion statement than an end use requirement) in Winter and there’s a whole entourage of huge online boutiques such as Netaporter and Far Fetch.com to cater to these demands. The consumer will always decide what’s in or out. And ultra quickly it appears.
It’s something of a thrill to see Resort Collections such Antonio Berardi, Carven, Chloe and Nina Ricci leap barriers and signify big new moves in terms of direction. But then again, its the brave, directional designer who does this and one who feels comfortable with the backing of his/her executives as well as one who feels confident in their own skin.
Step forward Peter Copping, British designer at Nina Ricci who, in just 3 years, has managed to raise this respected house that’s a household name more for its fragrance offer, into one that acts as a vanguard for a new movement and mood in 21st century femininity. Much less middle aged frou-frou and more Parisienne street-style, sexy, stripling.
Copping has seemingly effortlessly incorporated Ricci’s heritage of super femininity and accessibility with his vision for a new direction for the house. What we see is a collection that exactly captures a mood and a spirit of youthful Parisienne joie-de-vivre with an elegance and natural style inherited from her older, wiser mother. Interestingly, Copping doesn’t narrow his direction but widens the influences with a strong sense of character running through each collection, especially Resort’14’s.
Silk prints that are easy to wear and hint at maturity but are worn in a youthful way and with easy nonchalence just like the perfect little shorts or skirt suits, flowing evening dresses, simple jersey day dresses with drapes and folds and just enough frills ever present, to keep the Ricci heritage alive.
Copping’s British background and a willingness to clash and juxtapose ideas and lines seems to be what has raised his game at this ultra-French classic house. That, an a hint or two at the grace and favour of old haute couture. Taking staples and re-working them in an old meets street-modern style with the ensuing colour and fabric clashes has made Copping’s work standout. Redefining the little skirt suit, the trench, the eveningwear slip, the broderie shirts and the pencil skirts (what?) has made Copping’s trip into the past seem mega modern in an time where its all to easy to shock and all to difficult to get it just-so.
Copping’s Resort ’14 for Nina Ricci can be viewed as a triumph and a big sign that this label is thoroughly on the up-and-up. With names like Nicole Kidman, Carey Mulligan and Rooney Mara wearing his designs, its only a matter of time before Copping becomes a more well-known name in himself.