Ninalicious. Nina Ricci SS20

Packages of “Ninalicious” bubble gum were gifted to guests at Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh’s Nina Ricci show. This was a light-hearted nod to their new season silhouette, a floating dress in airy cloque (and in bubble-gum pink, of course) It’s their second season at the label, and they stir things up by taking the historical maison in an unexpected direction. For them Nina Ricci isn’t just about safe, lady-like dressing. The spring-summer 2020 line-up had humour and a quirky kind of youthfulness. Just look at the brightly colored buckets that functioned as bags and hats (these are great!). The designers said they were inspired by a summertime trip to the beach with their nephews and that they were after a sense of nostalgia. The joyous colour palette pleases the eye, just as the peplum tops and XXL ruffle dresses. But in general the collection lacks a stricter edit. The sharp tailoring doesn’t work with the overall softness of the line-up. Some of the silhouette look too exaggerated (take the opening look’s white top with unnecessary, big shoulder pads). Also, I feel like Botter and Herrebrugh still haven’t established their Nina Ricci look. Maybe it’s too early and they need time. Still, big thumbs up for their optymistic thinking.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Light. Nina Ricci AW19

Paris saw two debuts at historic maisons that were originally found by women. The first was a proper, but mild restart at Lanvin by Bruno Sialelli. The second appeared to be at Nina Ricci, where Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh took the role of creative directors. The couple have a menswear label, Botter, whose oversize tailoring and energetic humor caught the attention of the fashion world last year, made them LVMH Prize finalists and scored a top design award at the Festival d’Hyères. They’ve never designed womenswear, but LVMH gave them a blank page. So you could actually expect anything. The designers decided to play rather safe and referred to Ricci herself, whose fashion was roamntic, airy and light. Rushemy and Lisi cleared the garments of any unneeded details, like lace or embroideries, and delived a line-up of minimalist, yet feminine silhhouettes. There were organza tops and flowing gowns, but we’ve also had beautifully constructed suits and over-sized shirting. For me, this collection lacked the intrigue that Guillaume Henry (Botter and Herrebrugh’s precedessor that parted ways with the brand quite abruptly) delivered to the brand. But I’m paying attention to what’s coming from the new creative directors in the near future.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Refined. Nina Ricci AW18

nina ricci

So what’s the deal with Guillaume Henry at Nina Ricci? After seasons of working at the heritage brand, the designer was reported to leave due to the maison‘s underfunding. Then, Nina Ricci’s company responded to the news by denying Henry’s departure, just hours after the recent fashion show. Oh, that crazy fashion…

But still, would you say Ricci needs a new designer? Throughout those three years, Guillaume has changed the label into an exciting and very refined place for women seeking the ‘Parisian allure’ (if we really need to use a cliché). Shortly, those are delightful, beautiful dresses, coats and accessories. Although the autumn-winter 2018 collection indeed felt as if it was witnessing a budget cut comparing to the last seasons, it was… well, good. Even very good – see the fur coats; the chic trackpants; voluminous shirts. I think that’s the main problem with old houses being suddenly revived by investors. The owners want big profit, they want the brand to be on everybody’s lips – but is giving the right amount of time for the designer even taken under consideration? Worth consideration.


Collage by Edward Kanarecki.