Man, a good soundtrack can be so convincing. The reggae playing at the Sophie Theallet show today was just the thing to lift the spirits on a gray and rainy fashion-week afternoon. It helped that the clothes were pretty ace, too. As Theallet explained, she recently took a trip to Jamaica with a friend, and wound up staying at a place where Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe had once holidayed. And all she had to do with that coincidentally loopy mix of references—Jamaica, dancehall, Marilyn on vacation at her sex-bomb peak—was distill it into the familiar idiom of her clothes. And it worked.
Theallet already gravitates to Monroe-ishness, with her preference for hourglass silhouettes and a come-hither attitude, so the real news here was her play with Rasta colors and tropical motifs. The latter came through via frond-like prints and patterns of knit and lace, while the Rasta shades were all over the place, most memorably in pieces where red, yellow, and green winked through a top layer of black eyelet. Other looks soft-pedaled the reference, like a soigné frock in sparkly yellow tweed, or a beachcombing-suitable gown in gauzy seersucker stripes. But Theallet didn’t aim to be coy—she was plainly enjoying herself this season, and nowhere was the sprightly mood more evident than in her rather goofy, dancehall-inspired black silk organza print. The penultimate look was a gown with a frond-lace halter and a full skirt in the dancehall organza: It was simultaneously dead-sexy, magisterial, and a lot of fun. The good vibes were contagious.