At a time when many designers are devising fresh takes on protective gear, the Nina Ricci woman just wants to shed her layers.

Designers Lisi Herrebrugh and Rushemy Botter spent the lockdown in a village in the Netherlands, taking long walks in the country. “Designers reflect on the time that we live in and for us, we felt the urge to go out to breathe more, because of these restrictions,” Botter said.

For their spring collection, the pair were inspired by the bottle for Ricci’s best-selling fragrance, L’Air du Temps. Herrebrugh noted the perfume was created just after World War II. Its swirled bottle, designed by René Lalique, is topped with two doves, symbolizing peace.

“It was like a message of hope, of revival, of positivity that we thought was super beautiful,” she said.

That spirit blew through their lineup, which melded sporty references with the rigorous tailoring they have made a signature of their tenure at the house. Bodysuits and dresses in elastic swimsuit fabrics were spliced with aerodynamic panels of draped silk, while blouses featured flyaway ties at the wrist.

A sharp gray blazer was softened with a scooped ivory silk panel in the back, while a nude jacket came with peel-away shoulders that revealed a bright yellow vest top. The zingy shade, borrowed from the fragrance’s packaging, punctuated the color palette, a beautiful balance of neutrals, nudes and accent shades.

WATCH: Inside Nina Ricci’s Spring 2021 Collection

The fast-paced collection video spliced images from the look book shoot, showing models buffeted by wind machines, with content from the designers’ phones, including collection sketches and videos of waves crashing on rocks. Amid all the dystopian angst, their breezy vision felt as enticing as breathing without a mask.

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