The “Queen of Knits” – it wouldn’t take long for Sonia Rykiel’s sweaters to enter the fashion world. In the 60s, young Sonia introduced her own fantasy of womankind: she would be emancipated, inhabited by fashion rather than merely dressed by it. Her styles would catch the eye of American fashion writers on a scouting mission in Paris. Women’s Wear Daily would soon be featuring her. In December 1963, Françoise Hardy immortalized the striped sweater on the glossy cover of Elle – Rykiel’s signature was born. Free from tight collars that kept the neck in a stranglehold, hers was a rebellious approach. Short, fitted, grey, simple but efficient. The garment she conceived for herself was a hit, and Rykiel decided decided to bring her entire universe of Saint-Germain-des-Prés along for the ride.
This is the legacy that Rykiel’s brand carries on. Today, the torch has been passed to Julie de Libran with this collection as delicious as it is inventive. For Spring/Summer 2017, the brand’s creative director called out to its codes without being a copycat. Woodstock, Joplin, and the 70s are the collection’s framework. Worked like the late founder’s XXL knits, this long crocheted dress offers up all the subtlety and sensuality that flamboyant Sonia was known for. Rykiel attitude is seduction and intellectualism – platonic and physical all at once. “Creating fashion is like writing a novel,” she once said. “Since literature has the power to bring immortality to any man.” Rykiel will thus be with us forever.