"Sensuality and seduction." That, according to Sophie Theallet, was the point of her Spring 2014 show. And you didn't need the designer to spell it out for you, either. Right off the bat, with a first look all in red tones that featured a clingy sheer knit top and a skirt with flounces fit for flamenco, she established a tone of ripe sexuality. Theallet being Theallet, this was handled in a decorous, grown-up way, with an emphasis on the subtleties. The waistband of that flounced skirt, for instance, was made from ultra-pliant glove leather. Likewise, the silks this season were hammered, and the knit emphasis was on complicated stitch, all of which added to the collection's evocative sense of tactility.
There were a lot of strong looks here, with the snug dresses and skirts with pleated chiffon hems hitting a particular va-va-voom nerve. But the collection's impact in toto was blunted by the overuse of a couple of botanical motifs inspired by the artist Rosemarie Trockel. After the show, Theallet said she liked the idea of showcasing a weed—in this particular instance, a weed that could also be used as medicine. "Bad and good together," she explained. "I like the paradox. I like complicated, because women are complicated." Point taken, but even a weedy floral had the effect of prettifying what was otherwise a graceful tribute to female power and desire.