It says something of the weight of a designer when he moves to one of the wonder houses of the world. As Peter Copping headed to Oscar de la Renta to take over the mantle of a maestro, how would the wunderkind new boy at the helm, ex Carven designer, Guillaume Henry, cut it as Creative Director at Ricci? Still one of the most influential and ultra feminine of French fashion houses.
Now, Copping made Ricci a little bit sultry in that grown-up-Mistress-style that French women play at but would Henry add his flippant edge of cool to the brand? The one he mastered so successfully at Carven. On the back of which, umpteen biting new hip Carven fragrances were released with the brotherly help of his kindred perfume spirit, Francis Kurkdjian. There’s a lot resting on these shoulders.
Guillaume Henry managed to strike that fine line balance of inflecting the brand with his hipness whilst remaining true to Copping’s Ricci legacy.
There were pea jackets paired with delicate lace, faintly 70s themed short jackets and sailor trouser combos, fringe detailing galore (including *those* trend wristlets) and so much edgy femininity (with a smattering of sequins) that wouldn’t look out of place either in Le Marais or in Westbourne Grove, whichever the contemporary Boho boutique area hangout de choice.
What Henry managed so well was employing his vision with restraint and respect for a superior house. Understanding the house’s demographic but moving this forward with grace, elegance and aplomb. This was a lesson in how to make a label relevant.
With a line of sharper than sharp handbags and accessories and, no doubt, new Ricci fragrance releases more in keeping with this modernist brand vision, Ricci is in safe hands.
Catwalk images courtesy of www.style.com