Dame Margot Fonteyn, punk. No, clearly, that doesn’t sound quite right. And yet there is a thread that ties Nina Ricci’s fall collection from Peter Copping, inspired by the legendary twentieth-century British prima ballerina, and his spiky, fetishistic, punkish spring. Fonteyn was as radical as any kid who dyed her hair and ripped up her clothes, engaging in an impassioned and prolific working relationship with dancer Rudolf Nureyev, nearly 20 years her junior, a pairing that raised eyebrows back in the sixties. And in its own way, Copping’s fall is also a pas de deux that dances to a delightful and different tune. He drew inspiration from ballet dancers and their lives on and off the stage, partnering a classically Ricci delicate sweet-hued romanticism with the cut and thrust of urban life that simmered with a sexual tension. (He had another kind of pas de deux, too, engaging sister pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque to play live, performing a Philip Glass composition for two pianos.)
This dualism was apparent from his opening look, a tiny black cashmere warm-up sweater with a bias-cut-and-patched ivory skirt, its interplay of wool and silk caressing the body, a black ribbed band to keep the hair in place, a slash of scarlet at the lips, and high ankle-strap black shoes with a gently snubbed toe that echoed those of dance slippers. From there, Copping worked his theme by fusing it with all those things he does so well: fifties-tinged tailoring, like a curvaceous red suit with a tied neckline resembling the sleeves of a sweater knotted around the neck; demure sweaters atop skirts that were short and full or long and superlean, both sensuously swaying down the red-carpeted runway; and utilitarian coats this season, the parka elevated by being variously worked with quilted silk, feathery plumes, fox fur, and a swirling, soft, teddy bear–like fabric.
The parka, Copping said, came from seeing dancers go to auditions and rehearsals, their tautly clothed frames swathed in a big enveloping layer on top, an idea he played up in the show by putting a bodysuit under some of them. Gradually, all this gave way to evening, a forte of his, and goodness knows, in a season when it’s visible by it’s absence, much welcome. Copping embellished his shorter ballerina dresses with flattened swirling flowers and fans of pleats, while the longer looks had a zing of eroticism, like an undulating black feathered dance dress hanging from shoestring straps, the dress revealing sheer panels at the back that would have made even the toughest punk blush, let alone Dame Margot.
Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories
Photo Credit/Source: VOGUE
Photography by Monica Feudi / FeudiGuaineri
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