Guillaume Henry thinks about Nina Ricci the brand as a woman. “Of course Nina Ricci is a woman’s name and I always try to ask, ‘Who is that woman?’, the designer said backstage before the show, noting that he wanted the spring collection to build on the classics tinged with melancholy he introduced with his debut fall show. “I wanted her to be a little more sensual, like the second time you meet someone.”
The collection gave the impression that Henry is still getting acquainted with this woman he has in mind, as well as the turf that comes with helming a luxury label. The tony, bourgeois traditionalism of the silhouettes implied an adult chicness more seductive than last season as Henry infused the lineup with sheer, blouses, spare apron dresses and an abundance of shine via patent leather and lacquered fabrics. Two of his key references were Romy Schneider in the Seventies and Nineties minimalism.
The plainer, the better. Squarely tailored coats and miniskirts in shiny patent ostrich leather and two wrap leather dresses — one olive, one red — with wide open V-necklines and gathered waists were strong examples of alluring, womanly polish. Henry’s attempts at elevating the minimal and traditional, by oversizing sheer blouses at the shoulders and sleeves, adding ostrich feathers in spare but awkward placements on short, sleeveless dresses and a strange sense of color in a plethora of drab green and yellow, were off. With more finesse, he should have better luck on his third date.