The beauty of any Fashion Week or fashion event is that while they are often a reunion of the same, predictable faces and brands that are the stalwarts of the industry, they can also be a great opportunity to meet new ones. In this instance, one of the most classic brands in fashion has not only been given a facelift, but a completely new face altogether. I am of course talking about the first outing of Oscar de la Renta’s new Creative Director, Peter Copping, at the Mercedes -Benz New York Fashion Week 2015 Autumn/Winter collection. The man personally chosen by the iconic Oscar himself just before tragically losing the battle with cancer back in October 2014 aged 82.
Chosen to help the brand achieve longevity, Oscar de la Renta himself told journalists at WWD of his ambition when announcing Copping’s new position, “My hope is that, in leading this selection, and actively participating in the transition, I can ensure the right design future for our company and brand … I’m very happy that Peter has agreed to join us.”
A huge compliment indeed when you have such big shoes to fill and Copping managed to do so as his designs walked towards success. He should be applauded alone on his ability to achieve the precarious balance of giving a nod to the legacy left behind by Oscar and at the same time establish his own modern twist into the brilliant array of designs that were displayed; designs that ranged from classic day suits to fuchsia cocktail dresses to glamorous and colourful evening gowns.
“I brought in more short dresses, and new fabrications – a modern, light duchess satin, for instance, where before it would have been taffeta,” Copping said backstage after the show. “I wanted to be respectful to Oscar’s legacy, and at the same time fashion moves quickly, so you have to state your intentions straight away.”
Not that there will be a huge demand for the brand to be revamped anytime soon as he is loved by all, from Nancy Kissinger and Taylor Swift. Just two names who have had the enviable opportunity of being clothed by the master and came out lining the front row in fuelled by support for the late designer. Oscar de la Renta’s most famous clients were also joined by his family, who all have a hand in running the brand, who also came to see Copping’s success in proving that he will be able to carry on their relative’s legacy on into the future.
However, it is no surprise that he should be the one to succeed at continuing the legacy of de la Renta as Copping was former Artistic Director for Nina Ricci topping a career spanning 20 years in Paris. Two brands which are similar in that they are both known for being definitions of feminine elegance, so it seems to be the move that will not be too far out of the designer’s comfort zone.