Since last season, Sophie Théallet has moved her studio out of her apartment and into the Garment District—a change, she said, that has given her a new perspective. "You're not in your little cocoon," she said a few days ago by phone. With today's show, Théallet certainly pushed into new territory, tightening up the typically blousy lines of her bohemian silhouettes and adding bona-fide tailoring in wool coats and slouchy, mannish suits.
Théallet's muse was the bad girl masquerading as a lady, like the ne plus ultra of the stylish but ill-behaved, Bonnie Parker. Perhaps because these Franco-American girls—each with a black beret, heavy eye liner, and long black-ribbon choker—need to be on-the-go, the more body-skimming look still had a bit of give. The skinny pencil skirt that opened the show, paired with a chic plunging satin blouse Théallet called a "smoking shirt," allowed the model a cool strut, hands in pockets. On fluid printed and chiffon silk dresses, a skinny length of ribbon that emerged from a ruched panel was used to create an easy shape. Even the collection's strictest moments had something a bit undone. The thigh-baring slit on an evening gown looked as if it had been trussed up just moments before.
Delinquent inspiration aside, there was still a sweetness to the look. Just try being bad in those bright color-blocked sweaters with pointelle'd seams. But even as you understood Théallet's forward momentum, you imagine that her fans might long just a bit for last season's richly detailed, colorful vision. They'll do well to look to that chocolate satin coat-dress—the best of both worlds.