All the stars aligned for Sophie Albou's 15th anniversary show at Paris' legendary Olympia Theatre, where everyone from Edith Piaf to KISS has played. Albou had secured nineties acid-jazz band Jamiroquai to surprise the Champagne-sipping crowd during the models' final walk, but when it came to the clothes, her mind was on the seventies chic of Romy Schneider.
Albou's spin on the familiar reference was unsurprisingly both energetic—brimming with cute signature floral prints and all sorts of texture—and very colorful. But to her credit, there was also an all-ages elegance in pieces like a ruby-red coat with a purple fur collar or a slim paisley midi dress. A lovely pleated silk floral skirt was based on one the designer had admired on her own mother in the seventies. "Very Catherine Deneuve," said Albou: It was Yves Saint Laurent.
The casual observer of this contemporary brand might be surprised to know that it makes use of designer-caliber fabrics like an Italian crepe de chine that's hand-painted and embroidered at a specialized factory in Lyons. Credit Albou for still keeping the price right. In this show, that kind of grown-up quality was easy to miss with the sometimes clunky styling and those funky Timberland-esque high-heel boots. But in a city with some of the oldest fashion houses in the world, when you're only 15, it makes sense to still be having some fun.