34 posts tagged "Sonia Rykiel"
Sonia Rykiel celebrated the 40th anniversary of her brand with a blowout party at her show last October, which may make the publication of the new book SONIA RYKIEL (Rizzoli) seem a little less than timely. Not so, for not only has Fall ’09 fashion found itself in a Gallic mood, urging a re-look at this most Parisienne of designers, but as this doorstopper, edited by fashion historian Olivier Saillard, attests, Rykiel helped to invent the practice now faddishly known as “shopping your closet.” While other designers of her generation stuck to the practice of showing a new round of head-to-toe looks each season, Rykiel followed on the sportswear logic pioneered by Coco Chanel and began designing easy-to-wear knits and jersey separates made to be mixed and matched from collection to collection. Add a new piece here, put another one on wardrobe hold; for 40 years, this has made for an approach to dressing both practical and elegant. Liz Goldwyn, art critic Gerard-Georges Lemaire, and Kyoto Costume Institute curator Akiko Fukai all contribute essays to the book, but the bulk of the pages in SONIA RYKIEL are filled by shots of the designer’s runway looks—four decades of collections, year by year—and nothing more is needed to commend her significance. This is one coffee-table book worth the weight, to vintage fanatics and students and enthusiasts of fashion alike.
Fashion week notes from the flame-haired British makeup artist and creative director of Myface.
Though the debate in the fashion world about the negative impact of copycats continues unabated, taking direct “inspiration” from another creator isn’t necessarily always held against a designer. The latter was the case at Fashion Rio (which is underway this week in Rio de Janeiro) for Coven, a knitwear-heavy label with a fiercely modern but street-friendly aesthetic. The first looks out of the gate—futuristic, body-con separates—owed an obvious debt to Nicolas Ghesquière. A group of Hervé Léger-esque bandage dresses were interspersed with a flurry of fluffy, crystal-encrusted sweaters (like the one pictured here), which seemed to pay homage to Sonia Rykiel. It might sound like an overload of references, but the reality was that Coven designer Liliane Rebehy Queiroz managed to own most of the ideas and inject them into her particular stylistic vocabulary. In emerging fashion markets, a common criticism can sometimes center on a lack of original creativity, but in the case of Coven, it doesn’t apply. Rebehy Queiroz is just finding a way to synthesize the influences that surround her into something unique, which, in my opinion, is a perfectly valid creative approach in contemporary times.
Sonia Rykiel is now wrapping up an event-studded 40th anniversary year that started with the opening of her new flagship in May and is now ending with her first-ever museum show at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. The event found her daughter Nathalie jubilant. “I am very happy [with this year] because I feel like we did everything we wanted to do,” she said. “My mother has never been featured in a museum, so this is like an apotheosis.” Over two floors, the show presents clothes of every, ahem, stripe, from the early years to the trompe l’oeil knits, strass and sequins, braless dresses, sweaters that range from sassy to serious, marabou jackets, and a poetic cluster of crepe and chiffon numbers. As Madame Rykiel posed for the cameras with photographer Dominique Issermann, guests jockeyed for space behind her to get a closer look at handwritten notes from friends like Carine Roitfeld, Pierre Bergé, Harold Koda, Guy Savoy, Ingrid Sischy, and Pierre Hermé. Nathalie Rykiel said that her favorite parts of the show are the pieces by 30 designers in homage to Sonia, which included Rodarte’s popular “Obama” sweater dress. “That so many great designers came together was incredible,” she said. “It says so much about creation, about fashion, and beyond that. If things in general could be done in the same way, the world would be a better place!” If you missed that feel-good fashion show, the Rykiel retrospective runs through April 19, 2009.