03/01/2012 04:17 EST | Updated 05/01/2012 05:12 EDT

Nina Ricci opens vintage dress-up box at Paris fall-winter ready-to-wear shows

PARIS - Nina Ricci's Peter Copping is a shameless romantic, and his strong fall-winter ready-to-wear show Thursday took the audience into the world of a young girl who playfully mixes and tears up clothes from her family's 1950s dress-up box.

Rough patchwork panelling featured on deconstructed evening coats in tweed, as if cut and resewn by a child's hand. Redundant fur cuffs dangled limp from the side of a sleeve, a fur stole had gloves attached with a toddler-style thread and rhinestone brooches and buttons were applied haphazardly to lace and organza cocktail dresses as if in haste after the wardrobe raid.

But beyond the daydreaming, the black-heavy collection exuded a strong, contemporary femininity.

More important, it marked a change in direction for Copping, creative director since 2009, in embracing the cinched glamour of a 1950s silhouette.

"The A-line look makes it feel different to my previous work," the British designer said. "It's about nonchalance and comfort."

Comfort is often synonymous in ready-to-wear with "sellable." Here, the house has no need to worry.