Coquette, meet dominatrix. For three years now Peter Copping has been polishing Nina Ricci's special brand of Parisienne chic. Backstage he said he felt it was time to "push it on further into new territory." Enter the leather bondage harness glimpsed beneath the opening look's wool jacket. Enter, as well, the swags of silk fringe decorating a silvery gray cocktail dress, the clear plastic trench printed with a fishnet pattern, and the leather pants. Yes, leather pants, embellished with little zips on the side—pull them open to reveal swatches of black lace. Lace that went almost otherwise ignored, save for underneath a chiffon dress in a shade of pool blue Copping described as "sick."

The designer was clearly feeling loose this season. It showed in the holographic tweeds he chose for a pair of tailleurs, the exuberant polka dots of a fuchsia satin frock, and the showgirl sequins on a nude slipdress. He reined it in for just one black crepe gown. It faded quickly into memory amid the more surprising bits on the runway tonight.

We're not completely sold on every element here; those bondage harnesses have become a bit of a fashion cliché in the wake of that Helmut Newton show at the Grand Palais. But on balance, Copping made a convincing case for breaking out of his comfort zone.