SONIA BY SONIA RYKIEL AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR PARIS FASHION WEEK
Since its debut a year ago, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel has been a perfectly likable line that succeeded in capturing a contemporary ingenue sensibility. Today’s collection felt different in that it finally aligned with the Sonia Rykiel sensibility. The reason seems obvious: The impact of Julie de Libran on the main line has now reached Sonia By. But it’s just as possible that, like any start-up undertaking, an identity just needed time to set. Even without a primer on Madame Rykiel’s contribution to Parisian prêt-à-porter, you could detect her legacy in the striped knitwear, updated with an oversize button detail or contrasting color panels. It was also present in the coats playfully enhanced by a trompe l’oeil shadow lapel, pop piping that outlined pockets and hems, and ready-made-inspired jewelry that might as well have come with the disclaimer: “This is not a paper clip.”
But most of all, the success of this collection was in its circa-now attitude—the classic gray knit dress with a sporty blue insert filling the V-neckline, the flirty dresses with cutouts toward the shoulders, or the swingy jacket-cape hybrid in checked mohair paired with matching shorts and high-gloss boots. As modeled by Langley Fox, great-granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway, pieces accented with black cotton lace existed in a sweet spot between punk and precious (suitably channeling the spirit of post-punk muse Viv Albertine). Sonia By was smart to hedge its bets on faux fur, which has become less about what it isn’t (animal-sourced) than what it is (a fun and widely accepted outerwear alternative). Whether extra-plush in blush-and-black stripes or emerald green with white baroque flowers, those pieces represented an obvious natural progression from statement sweaters. They could easily become a brand signature.