There's nothing immediately Japanese about the zipper dresses,
polka-dot-stamped neoprene sweatshirts, and mohair sweaters that, in part, added up to the Sonia by Sonia Rykiel
Fall offering. Certainly, there was little in the way of super kawaii—the easiest of Japanese pop fashion tropes. The giveaway that there was a subtle Japanese reference was a recurring striped knit piece that can be worn obi-style as a belt over a coat or jacket; but no matter which way you stripe her, a Rykiel girl will always be a Parisian at heart. Still, the collection depicted an ingenue who appreciates activewear details (technical ski pants and a quilted placket running the length of a coat) as much as artisanal ones (felted wool horizontal bands needle-punched into a silk dress). She probably prefers the feel of classic knits—updated in punchy color-blocked combinations or covered in arrows directed toward a heart—to a slippery parachute material used for a blouse and a dress. The design team proved their sense of relevancy with a flounced skirt that bonded a knit with an underlayer of silk georgette; the powder pink mohair perfecto and matching jogging pants, meanwhile, might have been a stretch. It's too early to say whether the teddy bear faux-fur coats—one Winnie-hued, the other a dusty rose—will be embraced with more enthusiasm in Paris or abroad. But does it really matter? On the whole, the collection's joie de vivre translates well.