What's the difference between drama and dramatic? In the case of French fashion house Nina Ricci, a head designer. Even though this is Peter Copping's second collection for the label, it is the first where his work, and not the bickering and drama of Olivier Theysken's departure, took center stage.
The fall 2010 collection was dramatic in the best sense. It remained loyal to Nina Ricci's tradition of feminine detailing, but it was all done in a highly tailored manner. Ruffles, ruching and lace are still en vogue according to Copping, Nina Ricci's creative director and Marc Jacobs' former right-hand man at Louis Vuitton. A red bustier with ruffle-accented cups demonstrates how much Copping's former mentor influenced the designer's artistic tendencies. Jacobs-inspired designs populated the runway. A pale rosebud-embellished tank delighted spectators with its' gathered tulle back. A black fitted jacket and matching pencil skirt that appeared quite ordinary dazzled all once the model turned to leave the catwalk and revealed the lace-detailed back. It's as fierce as Nina Ricci can get. This is probably the first Nina Ricci collection I find myself excited about, and it's time to focus on the main reason for this enthusiasm.
For those of you remotely familiar with the label's foray into handbags, their past disastrous offerings come as no surprise. Frilly shoulder bags, horse shoe emblazoned satchels and totes with hanging ribbons are all we've seen from Nina Ricci, and who'd want bags like that? Even NR's loyal "ladies-who-do-tea" clientele would be hard pressed to find fulfillment in such overpriced, fug bags. Their handbags were in dire need of new blood, and this collection has certainly provided it.
Only a few designs were on display, but what we saw was promising. There wasn't a horse shoe in site, and the frou-frou bags were history. In their stead were leather shoulder bags with hair pin-accented, gathered fold-over flaps. I can't tell you how much I love these bags. They're like a Falchi bag restyled to fit in at Tavern on the Green (if it were still open). Fabulous! There were still a couple of Ricci-esque bags sprinkled in here and there, but nothing to fret about. Even those bags followed Copping's new direction, and that direction is nowhere in the vicinity of yesterday's drama. Thank goodness for that.
Photo source: style.com; elle.com