Sophie Théallet's Fall muse sounded like a fun girl. "She's an aristocratic woman of today," the designer explained. "She was disowned by her family because she was eccentric." Théallet's millennial Edie Beale (sans cats, you hope) is ruined but still has the wherewithal—"education," as she put it—to be resplendent, spending her tiny pension on fashion, while forgoing the heat in her decaying mansion.
It might suffer from neglect, but that proud house was the source of the collection's main print—a Victorian-ish wallpaper motif that gave things a welcome tilt toward the bohemian side of Théallet's oeuvre. The pattern was actually at its best when laid on thick, layered up in fab intarsia knits and satins in slightly off-kilter, mismatched colors. But Théallet is all about dueling forces. Her counterpoint to the soft and eclectic came in big gestures, like the va-va-voom red satin dresses, and small ones: a skinny line of red piping on a rich gold-flecked chocolate cloque party frock. The shock of red satin straps you saw when a sugary dotted ivory chiffon halter dress turned the corner could qualify as medium. Nonetheless, Théallet sets out her work to create the necessary tension that keeps prettiness from boring you, and mostly succeeds.
In the end, Théallet admitted that her can-do muse was a bit closer to her heart than she originally let on. "It's also a metaphor for when you have a fashion brand and you don't have all the resources," she said. "But I am eclectic and I have education and I do the best I can."