It was going to be hard to top last season's 40th anniversary extravaganza, but Sonia Rykiel and her daughter, Nathalie, came up with something that—although it was much smaller in scale—brought just as many smiles to the assembled faces. The concept: Get the models to talk to the crowd as they took their turns around the designer's Boulevard Saint-Germain boutique. Out one came, spouting, "Je m'appelle Imogen, and I'm wearing a knit dress." And another, in a black fur coat: "I'm a black fox, I'm a foxy girl." And this, from a third: "I'm wearing sunglasses because I'm a star." Their voices, some American English, but mostly Russian-accented French, overlapped as they twirled around the two-floor space—and it was so utterly charming (who knew these ice princesses could be so animated?) you almost forgot to notice the clothes.
Those were adorable, too. There was a fair bit of the garçon to this collection, be it in a black velvet smoking or a plaid waistcoat worn with pleat-front trousers. But for the most part it was as girly as ever: There were ruffles galore, as on a double-breasted velvet coat or streaming down the front of a light purple dress; Lurex-shot sweater dresses almost as sparkly as sequined tank dresses in the same black, blue, and bronze palette; and color-blocked knits. Perched in the middle of the front row, Madame Rykiel seemed quietly pleased that she still has the power to delight.