The beating heart of Peter Copping's Resort collection for Nina Ricci was the silk prints. After the show, which was presented in the round, he said he based them on scarves found in the house's archives. There was nothing stuffy about a graphic tangerine, ivory, and black dress that he twisted and draped asymmetrically from the torso, though. The florals were a bit more expected from a label like Ricci, but again, Copping treated them in a thoroughly modern way: making sure that the patterns clashed on either side of a trim cardigan and tucking it into a sexy pencil skirt in another flower design.

What has helped Copping revitalize the ultra-feminine, ultra-French codes of this house is his British irreverence. Citing exasperation with Europe's endless winter, he made sure colors popped: chartreuse met shocking pink, and he tossed an aqua linen coat over a mauve dress. Note also the electric-hued patent-leather pumps. Beyond irreverence, Copping is also exceedingly handy with an evening dress. A crisscross halter style in black with lace insets at the ribs quite literally caused our seatmate to catch her breath. In our book, the strapless stretch radzimir gown with rosettes at the hem that closed the show was the winner.