Crop tops are everywhere in Paris this week. Hardly surprising, one might think, given the extreme heat of 36 degree heat currently engulfing the city. But the Parisienne is not a woman who usually dares to bare. What changed? “It’s in the air, everyone feels free,” says Nana Baehr, design director at Nina Ricci, whose interim spring collection in the absence of a creative director (Lisi Herrebrugh and Rushemy Botter came out in January) used shortened leg lengths and lots, to boot.
Baehr had been inspired to show skin, she said in a preview, by the spirit of youthful rebellion that emanates from the 1970 film Antonioni Zabriskie Point. “I watched it when I had Covid; it’s the story of a young couple who meet in the desert, during the Vietnam war, so it’s rebellion and contestation, and I found so many parallels with what we live today today,” she dares. “I’ve seen this kind of modern minimalist hippie.” The collection therefore had a light and airy vibe, its accompanying images captured against the backdrop of Salin d’Aigues-Morte, the otherworldly salt marshes and pink lakes that hosted Jacquemus earlier this summer. Unsold organza was twisted into petal-shaped tops and paired with micro shorts, while stained flower-dyed parachute silks included floaty dresses and puff-sleeve shirts. A candy pink lightweight wool suit was cut to show off a house signature, capped back, while an embellished strapless jumpsuit offered relaxed evening attire.
Inevitably, the brand faces a tough ordeal to pick up the pace in an unforgiving fashion cycle that demands artistic vision, viable product and serious buzz, all at the same time. Known for her perfumes, she has traveled the creators in recent years. A new creative director will be announced in the coming months, and the incumbent will be tasked with starting an accessories business. Baehr mentioned that shoes and handbags will be a priority, and possibly setting up collaborations (Robert Ricci, Nina’s son, has previously worked with artists such as Sol LeWitt and Andy Warhol), as well as the doubling of digital. Whoever gets the gig, their goal should arguably be to restore a sophisticated sweetness to the home. As Baehr says, “I think there’s a lot of space for modern femininity, and we need to seize that, because it’s ours, it’s been part of the brand from the very beginning.”