Buoyed by what he called strong retailer response to his runway debut for Nina Ricci
, Peter Copping produced a pre-fall collection that started where Spring left off. There was a similar soft color palette, this time rendered in washed loden wool, thick cashmere, and tweedy jacquards. The frills were back as well, but Copping gave them a utilitarian spin: The second storm flap of a dramatic cotton trench did double duty as a ruffled collar (cinched with a faux-fur scarf), and the delicate chiffon revers that cascaded down the front of the jacket of a sky blue skirtsuit could be removed for a cleaner silhouette. If a cardigan with four sleeves was a surprise, it wasn't the least bit gimmicky: Knotted behind the back, the extra sleeves created a chic, couture-ish line. And the designer extended the same sort of user-friendly, two-in-one approach into evening in the form of a lace-bodice silk gown topped by an easy, sleeveless jacket knotted at the bust. Now in his third season at the French house, Copping seems comfortable enough to inject a bit of fun into the brand's ultra-femme aesthetic—and it's paying off.