Who says you can never go home again? After years of wandering lost in the fashion wilderness, designer Julie de Libran brought the Sonia Rykiel brand back to where it once was and always truly meant to be. Think a home for women looking for clothing as powerful, sexy, independent and saucy as they are.
To underline this return to the source, De Libran invited guests of her debut collection to the iconic Sonia Rykiel flagship store on the boulevard Saint-Germain-des-Prés on the Left Bank for the fashion equivalent of a house warming.
In a hand written note left on each seat, she talked about how she had “happy childhood memories of my mother wearing Sonia Rykiel," and that coming to the house, “felt curiously like a home coming." She then proceeded to produce a collection that beautifully honored the heritage of the past, both in its sartorial codes and also its feminist spirit.
There was the Rykiel striped sweater, worn by Kendal Jenner on the catwalk but also given as a gift to each guest. But De Libran also reworked the stripe idea into everything from a white tweed striped cape worn by Georgia May Jagger and a knitted mink vest worn with a denim jumpsuit by Alexandra Hochgurtel, to a sequined version on a satin top as seen on Liu Wen, or a rather racy see-through knit and lace alternative, worn with bravado by Edie Campbell.
Back too where the chubby furs, but in De Libran's collection, they showed up like short shoulder hugging boleros. The Rykiel fascination with overalls in the hands of the designer became fitted jumpsuits with a dash of nautical vigor, thanks to rows of gold buttons. Even the brand’s famed studded bags returned to the catwalk, both as an accessory but also as some feisty leather looks covered in the same silver studs.
The models might not have been smiling as they walked the catwalk like they did during the founder’s era. But that was only because those smiles had been transferred onto the faces of the women watching the show, each of them now counting the days until this pitch perfect collection hits the stores next season.