Katia and Marielle Labèque performed "Two Movements for Two Pianos" by Philip Glass on side by side grand pianos at the Nina Ricci show tonight. It was tempting to sit transfixed as their fingers flew up and down the keys, but if you did that you missed a good collection from Peter Copping. It was inspired, he said, by a David Hamilton-lensed 1970s Ricci campaign featuring dancers, which led Copping to latch on to the idea of performers and spectators. Both groups led him to play to his strengths.
Over the last few seasons, Copping has made a concerted effort to expand Nina Ricci's daywear offerings. His special little sweaters have become favorites among those in the know. Here, he riffed on warm-up clothes, layering knits of different gauges one on top of the other, and leaving the ribbon at the nape of a sweater untied as a ballerina would. The portrait neckline of a skirtsuit was draped with extra sleeves, like a sweatshirt tied around the shoulders; another jacket paired high-low style with quilted sweatpants that had a genuinely relaxed feel. Parkas also made their first appearance on the Ricci runway, the best in red wool with opera-coat lines and a fox-fur-trimmed hood.
The evening fare felt more familiar: slipdresses patchworked from silk and lace; slightly askew, asymmetrically draped cocktail numbers. A few other dresses in duchesse satin were nipped and tucked and draped with an offhand virtuosity to create three-dimensional roses in the fabric. Particularly charming was a long black dress with a deep slit in back that revealed its ballerina-pink lining.