The cancellation of the Sonia Rykiel show that was meant to have taken place yesterday was very last minute and we don’t know exactly why. Apparently everything was ready. It’s a pity because it would be great to have seen some of these clothes worn. A pale pink knitted halter-neck jumpsuit, for example, or a black dress with a cream bust did not look like much hanging on a rail but you bet your Left Bank cool they’d come alive on a girl. Every cloud has a silver lining though and the chance to see everything up-close at the presentation had its benefits. This was the last collection by exiting artistic director April Crichton, with artistic director Geraldo Da Conceicao starting from next season.
The inspiration was Kate Bush and when two icons come together (Bush + Rykiel) good things happen. A soft Cadillac green sat next to pale pink and later progressed into embellished navy, embroidered gold and a psychedelic water paint print. The green looked great as a utilitarian jumpsuit, with a double belt and big pockets, and it was nice to feel its mat satin material with all the sturdiness of cotton and silky movement of satin. A single-breasted hot pink woven blazer sat next to a crisp white shirt and a very-Kate-Bush artist’s tunic in the Cadillac green had a printed shirt placket. This being Sonia Rykiel meant the knitwear did not just act as accessories. A white knit dress, with cut-outs on the neckline revealing some skin had a multi-coloured stripe panel whereas a full-on print one, with kimono sleeves and a boxy flap at the front, had an Aztec feel about it. A dress and skirt that looked like gold lace turned out, on closer inspection, to be tulle with swirly gold thread running through it. There were blue and orange plastic paillettes on long column dresses and smaller purple and dark navy sequins covering a top and skirt. A sharp black tux jacket with a long tail was begging to be worn with a big Rykiel brooch, a jaunty hat and big smile on a model’s face as fashion and Sonia Rykiel intended.
But it was not to be and so we bid au revoir to Madame Rykiel’s Warhol portrait and walked down Saint Germain instead.