Before he died in October 2014, the late great Oscar de la Renta - dress design darling of the New York smart set for more than 50 years - handpicked his successor. He chose Peter Copping, a discreet Englishman then heading up Nina Ricci in Paris.
When Copping presented his first collection for Oscar de la Renta for Autumn ‘15, many praised his seamless transition. Here was a designer who clearly understood the brand’s feminine, elegant legacy, and was quite at home playing with ballerina silhouettes, taffeta ball dresses and sweet floral suiting. Phew! Society ladies and red carpet glamazons breathed a collective sigh of relief.
In May this year, the brand showed at Australian fashion week, the first big name New York brand to do so. Copping himself did not attend.
The following month, W magazine noted that Copping is not one to bask in the limelight. ”Unlike his peers - and his predecessor - who command devotion through the sheer force of their larger-than-life personalities, he prefers to recede into background and let his work do the talking for him,” wrote Carson Griffith.
Now WWD reports that, the designer has this to say: “After almost two years at Oscar de la Renta, personal circumstances require me to return to Europe. I have loved my time in New York where I hope to return at some point in the future.” We second that.
Some have since speculated that the well-trodden path was too safe, that perhaps the house needed a thorough shakeup, but some of the chicest women on the red carpet would disagree. Sienna Miller, Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, Keira Knightley and Taylor Swift have all worn Copping’s gowns.