Nina Ricci’s Spring 2010 Ruffled Bloomers: The Key to Fiscal Success?

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Photo: wwd.com

Tonight in Paris Nina Ricci will show its spring 2010 collection in a presentation for just 75 guests. This is the first major collection under new creative director Peter Copping, who designed at Louis Vuitton under Marc Jacobs for twelve years before moving over to Ricci. After Olivier Theyskens's spectacular fall 2009 swan song for the label, Copping's position is not quite an enviable one. How does one top the collection that can't be topped? Much less the shoes alone?

“I like wearable clothes,” he tells WWD. “I’m not necessarily into being too avant-garde.” But he is into ruffled bloomers (as you see above) and assorted frilly things.

At Vuitton, “whenever we did more feminine-based collections, the sales were always incredible in the stores as opposed to the more austere or hard-edged things,” he said, while adding, “Obviously, one has to find a way to make that contemporary, modern and fashionable.”

While Ricci's fragrance division pulls in $150 million in wholesale volume a year, the fashion division is estimated to pull in just $25 million in retail sales. Sadly taking the safe route this season — or, at least, doing what everyone else is doing — equates to showing panty-diapers as bottoms instead of normal skirts, pants, or even leggings. Copping also wants to make silk crêpe and lace identifying elements of the house and perhaps one day launch a lingerie line.

So the man is in an underwear state of mind. And if too many designers to count all showed panties instead of bottoms for spring, we can probably assume other designers are in underwear states of mind. So clothes that make you go, "Wait — is that underwear? Oh, no, har har, those are the shorts-panties I'm supposed to wear in the spring. Better stock up on cellulite cream now!" could be here to stay for a while.

Copping Aims for Perfection at Nina Ricci [WWD]