Backstage At Nina Ricci’s Fall 2017 Show

Think: Parisian rodeo circus queen.

By: Samantha Tse
Photography: Alfredo Piola

The Nina Ricci show was a carnival of rodeo and circus references that included fringing, metal accents that were seen tips of shoes and as collar clips, yoke seaming and snap closures. Designer Guillaume Henry, who has helmed the storied brand since 2015, gave nod to the American West but reinterpreted under the sophisticated femininity of the Nina Ricci lens.

Henry’s collections are always full of surprises. Last season, the French designer presented a striped soccer jersey motif while this season marked the first time he used pastels in his collection since being appointed the brand’s creative director.

“When I first entered the company, for me, there was no question of pastels at all,” the designer told us. “But then things grow in your mind and you feel that it’s the right moment to do it. It’s very spontaneous.”

Click through for an up-close look at the collection, and to hear more about the inspiration for Fall and why pastels don't *have* to be girly.


“There are two main inspirations in the collection: the rodeo—not a cowgirl though, that’s too casual, and the circus ballerina,” designer Guillaume Henry said after the show.

“The brows are brushed up and filled in. It’s a wild brow,” said lead makeup artist Janeen Witherspoon.

“It’s based on a rodeo girl,” Witherspoon said about the look she created for the collection. “She’s a really healthy, fresh beautiful girl but you can imagine she is in a pageant for rodeo girls.”

“I looked at the book Rodeo Girl by Lisa Eisner and the artist Marie Laurencin for this season,” Henry said.

“We used Paramount on her lips. A good old classic from MAC,” said Witherspoon.

“She has nice flushed cheeks and a little bit of a soft contoured eye but it’s really about the cheek going into the temple,” Witherspoon explained.

“It’s the first time I used pastels because so far I thought that maybe they would be tricky, maybe too sugary, a little too girly. And I finally found out that I can use a pastel color that looks more self confident and sporty,” said Henry.

“I couldn’t think of anything other than light yellow or bright pink this season.”

“It’s a rodeo queen and a little circus,” lead hairstylist James Pecis said of the inspiration behind the hair.

“We’re giving them a post-perm vibe and there’s an 80’s flick to the side but then we’re giving them a little bit of sweatiness in the root around their face by adding gel around the forehead.”

“The silhouette is elongated this season,” said Henry. “There are long shirts, dresses made out of a shirt and just very long lengths.”

“We’re doing S-waves instead of normal curls,” explained Pecis.

“We tonged (the hair) and we put product on top of it, and tried to break it down and diffused the wave.”

“It’s really about that healthiness and that shine that you can see throughout the collection that’s in the makeup. There are some lovely satins and the girls have a lovely fresh fantastic glow,” said Witherspoon.

“When I’m thinking about rodeos, I always think of piping, trimming and padding but I don’t want it to look like you’ll only wear them on weekends so I wanted even the padding to look like an evening coat.”

“There are some bright velvets that are almost liquid and lots of leather.”

“There are larger shoulders but not massive—just enough to give you some self confidence and to wear everything, even like a couture coat, as a denim jacket.”