If the first few looks at Sonia Rykiel struck you as uncharacteristically subdued, your fashion Spidey sense was right on. The gist of Fall was to create a wardrobe of classics, described in the show notes as nonchalant, "familiar yet surprising" with an "offbeat twist." Though in the charming world of Paris' redheaded fashion matriarch—now translated by creative director April Crichton—the essentials can mean a fine navy pea jacket with contrasting royal sleeves as much as an orange Creamsicle shearling cocoon coat.
There was in fact quite a bit that any woman might love to have as staples in her closet, whether she subscribes to a wink-and-smile Rykielian philosophy or not: madly cozy knit skirtsuits; matching intarsia pullovers and pencil skirts; and the very chic, airy smocked dresses in a faint sweet ivory print or sexy sheer black.
As always, there were offbeat twists, like a long ribbed mohair cardigan split in the front to look like two pieces, or the surreal erotic hardware in the shape of a breast on belts and polished, ladylike bags. But the cheeky fun factor was toned down. Perhaps it was because these clothes and bags mean business. The House That Sonia Built sold an 80 percent stake to Fung Capital just two weeks ago. Still, on their final walk the models smiled as big as ever, matched by Crichton and Nathalie Rykiel, who took a bow hand in hand.
Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
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