Fabrics, rather than external inspirations, are always the starting point for Peter Copping when creating a bridal collection in his role as Creative Director at Oscar de la Renta. The designer first came to the house with a true understanding of femininity, sophistication and refinement from his time at Nina Ricci – and many of his pieces there often translated well for a wedding –but his new job requirements entail a deeper understanding of what women want not only for everyday, but also for the aisle. We paid a visit to the designer at his new homebase in New York City, to get a behind-the-scenes look at his preparation for Bridal Spring 2017, and a sneak peek of one of his favorite gowns from the collection.
Once his team selects the fabrics and establishes a versatile range of silhouettes for his discriminating and ever-changing bridal clientele, which he is careful to point out are typically far younger than his usual customer, they then select the embroideries. Beading, embellishments and appliqués often require the most time as they are almost always done by hand. Like your standard evening gown or Couture creation, the work begins with a detailed sketch, which is then passed along to the in-house atelier where the silhouette is created and fit in a muslin before the fabric is cut. The atelier at Oscar de la Renta operates as a Parisian house would, with a premiere l'atelier, or studio manager, overseeing the most talented seamstresses and dressmakers the brand can find. Scores of expert hands nip, tuck, sew and embroider in the brand's Bryant Park offices, creating an atmosphere that feels as enchanting as it is impressive. Before the collection is revealed, weeks of fittings and tweaks are required – which Copping explains often lead to adjusting the tiniest of details as close to moments before the first girl walks the runway.
As opposed to his ready-to-wear range, the bridal collection is created with every girl in mind – always aiming to please and offer a blank canvas for styling, be it glamorous fine jewels or something as delicate and ethereal as flowers in the hair. At the end of the day, Copping best sums up the workmanship involved in a collection of his kind: "It's very laborious and time consuming...it's like Haute Couture. The girl should feel and look herself; finding something that's looks natural and quite effortless–but that can make a statement."
Via Harper's Bazaar US