February 16, 2009 New York
While other designers were getting naughty and nineties, Théallet—ever one to dance to her own drummer—was going native. "I was inspired by the grace and strength of Native American tribes and how they approach difficult situations with grace and love," she said in an interview before the show. Fascinated with indigenous peoples since she was a child, the Brooklyn-based designer recently spent time on a Canadian reserve as well as in Manhattan's American Museum of Natural History, where she studied traditional garments and "took some elements that really touched me and spoke to my heart."
Dresses, in silhouettes similar to those from Spring, were finished with pleats, tiers, and pintucks that rounded the neck like a chieftain's bone necklace, and appliqués in totemic shapes. She visualized the "strong and happy" colors of her bold palette "fighting each other like warriors." A tobacco-brown coat was smartly autumnal, and the show-closing teepee-shaped tiered skirt was glorious. Like all the looks, it was accessorized with moccasin boots created in conjunction with Sorel.
Théallet was reared in France, mind you, and the Frenchness of these Native American looks shone through in the finesse with which she applied her craft. As the final model stepped softly and regally down the runway, out from the loudspeakers came the lyrics "Tout va bien."