While in Houston for a trunk show, Peter Copping visited The Menil Collection, where a curator told him how Dominique de Menil had collaborated with Charles James on the interior design of her presumably fabulous home. Paging Robin Leach.
“It got me thinking about the woman in her own environment,” said Copping during a Nina Ricci preview. He considered the decor of his muse’s home and how she would live there, waking up, lounging on her beautiful furniture and eventually getting ready for a fancy night out.
There were a million directions to go within this lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous fantasy and, curiously, Copping, who has a predilection for the precious, chose something quite womanly and subdued. He introduced his idea of off-duty, at-home luxury up front, opening with a slate gray cashmere blanket coat over a python-printed lilac satin dress, a strong color combination on a look meant to suggest relaxing in one’s PJs under a cozy throw. More literal versions were to come with cashmere pajama pants and subtle lingerie effects, like a bra-strap closure on the back of a slipdress. Copping curbed his flirtatious side in favor of stately sophistication.
The majority of the collection reflected the sturdy opulence of upholsteries: bonded Neoprene wool, leather, fur and brocades — all beautiful fabrics cut into plush, if hefty, clothes. Two purple and blue brocade looks were done in curving hourglass seams. Coats were trimmed with peltlike swaths of fur, and leather skirts came in thick folds. An Art Nouveau motif yielded a welcome dose of whimsy with iris prints on filmy silk dresses and gowns cut from crafty floral macramé.