As Peter Copping was preparing sketches and gathering images for what would become his Fall 2016 collection for Oscar de la Renta, he kept coming back to one particular book of photographs. The creative director, who showed his line for the house last night, was particularly taken with the interiors and architectural snapshots in photographer Robert Polidori’s book Chronophagia.
Specifically, Copping was moved by the photos Polidori had taken during an almost-30-year project documenting the restoration of the Palace of Versailles, which began in the mid-1980s.
Polidori’s pictures capture the transition of the palace from a veritable ruin to rich, new splendor, blending decoration from the past with a bright Louis XIV style typified by bold pops of color and exaggerated fabric and wallpaper patterns.
This is precisely what Copping aimed to convey through his latest runway looks. “My inspirations came from thinking about the juxtaposition of something modern against something highly decorative,” he says.
“Ornate details are juxtaposed with clean silhouettes in this collection—there are references to classical and 18th-century motifs such as toile de Jouy, but they are reworked by putting them through a technical, pixelated process that gives them a modern feeling.”
Copping also cited the Jeff Koons exhibition inside Versailles in 2008, as well as the famous Battle of Versailles fashion show in 1973, in which French designers presented highly embellished collections alongside American designers’ more minimal, utilitarian lines.
For a man who has been quite successful at balancing Mr. De la Renta’s legacy with the vision of a new guard, this is an interiors-inspired collection for the books.