Peter Copping’s sophomore show recollected the late Oscar de la Renta’s adoration of Spanish and Latin heritage.
By Christopher Prince
For a man that carried the weight of such enormous expectation last season, Peter Copping has been doing a stellar job at the helm of one of New York’s most recognisable labels. Last season was all about a tentative approach to house codes in homage to the passing of Oscar de la Renta. S/S 2016 picked up on that approach, but it was finely tuned with maturity in mind, and that began with a new location at the Prince George Ballroom.
The setting married the grandeur of Copping’s love for interior design, showcased by a room draped in opera curtains, and seats adorned with a single red carnation – de la Renta’s favourite flower and a significant symbol of Spanish and Latin culture. Carnations also fed into the collection as a focal print, though Copping’s treatment of the flower was decidedly modern in oversized formations.
The designer’s story arc for the season was inspired by a visit to the New York Hispanic Society of America. That translated into matador jackets and great flamenco ruffles in heritage shades of Spanish red contrasted with black. His models were fashioned on the rouge-lipped actress Ava Gardner, a defining figure in de la Renta’s lifetime, after an introduction at the Balenciaga atelier when the designer was working as a backroom boy in the Fifties.
Copping made use of de la Renta’s most coveted fabrics, silk faille and taffeta, forming a much lighter silhouette than previously shown at the house. Even the gowns, a staple at any de la Renta show, seemed weightless in their construction. Still, the drama of a ruffled lingerie lace neckline, or a finale creation in aqua taffeta scattered in contrast black grosgrain ribbon, was enough to satisfy the de la Renta woman of old.