Despite living in the same city for decades, Sonia
Rykiel never actually laid eyes on the Duke of
Windsor, but she was always intrigued by the fact he
surrendered everything for a woman. Her new collection
married her own Left Bank leanings with the duke's
brand of English style, a look that came to be dubbed
"le chic fatigué" on account of its careful
balance of ease and formality.
For Rykiel's new menswear, that meant tailored tweeds and Prince of Waleschecked flannel. Though not strictly English, the tartan accents, as in a tie or a knit twinset, gelled with the royal family's love of the Highlands. But it's doubtful that the duke would have made the quantum leap to black leather pants and a trim fuchsia-striped cardie over a black turtleneck. That was much more Sonia's thing, as was the red felted peacoat with "Saint Germain" appliquéd across its back.
A green gab trench and a brown velvet suit also had some boho pep. But what is it with the footwear at this house? A gray flannel suit was accompanied by gray patent slip-ons that yelped "panic at the disco." The green ones weren't much better.