Eye-Popping. Nina Ricci AW23

It’s a new day at Nina Ricci. After years of either inconsistent visions of various creative directors or viral ideas that never went beyond the runway, the historic Parisian maison needs an assertive path to take in order to be a name that sparks true interest and desirability among contemporary customers. Harris Reed, the young designer known for his gender-fluid approach at his highly-dramatic, London-based namesake label, and dressing super-stars like Harry Styles and Florence Pugh, is here to refresh Nina Ricci. His debut collection was a loud and bold statement filled with over-the-top shapes, eye-popping colours and psychedelic prints. First modeled by Styles at the BRITs, the tailoring looked like it took its cues from Bianca and Mick Jagger’s matching 1971 wedding suits – down to the extra-wide brimmed hats. Runway-spanning circle skirts leaned perilously close to costume, just like most of the offering. And then there was the show-closing hobble skirt – the model who wore it deserves a prize for not toppling over. Except for all the camp-y looks and downpour of gimmicks, there was no depth in this debut or wider understanding of the brand. Not speaking of actual ready-to-wear, which was pretty much non-existent… Where Reed is way out ahead of most of the Parisian brands is with his cast. Precious Lee opened the show, and as she vamped for the cameras, it was a reminder of the too narrow and old-fashioned visions of beauty seen elsewhere this week. Clothes-wise, Reed has a long, long way to go.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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