Art and fashion as a medium to express creativity were Julie de Libran’s focal points for her latest Sonia Rykiel fall/winter 2017-18 ready-to-wear collection, which found as a result both Sonia Rykiel’s founder and artists, sculptor, and filmmaker Niki de Saint Phalle as its muses. This collection, unveiled yesterday at Paris Fashion Week, thus set us on a journey through memory, art and colors, which also reminded us that beloved Sonia Rykiel’s legacy is here to stay.
While looking for palpable sources of inspiration for her Sonia Rykiel fall/winter 2017-18 collection, Franco-American designer Julie de Libran had the ultimate “aha moment” after stumbling upon a family picture of Niki de Saint Phalle. Like de Libran herself, de Saint Phalle was a Franco-American artist who, coincidentally, was born the same year as Sonia Rykiel, i.e. 1930.
“I realized she was born the same year as Sonia Rykiel,” Julian de Libran explained to WWD backstage. “I love how these women used creativity as a platform to express their messages.”
Mainly renowned for her colorful sculptures, throughout her artistic career de Saint Phalle celebrated women’s empowerment through conceptual art, visually focusing on the playful and expressive aesthetics that often reflected on human emotions, relationships and inner life. Like Sonia Rykiel, de Saint Phalle challenged gender norms and conventions, meaning that her notorious “Les Nanas au Pouvoir” statues were basically meant to be included in a Sonia Rykiel’s collection.
Besides the overall multi-colored patterns and the sculptured figures, Julian de Libran’s take on the Sonia Rykiel fall and winter seasons found its biggest and most grandiose focal point in Les Nanas au Pouvoir-inspired patterns, used by de Libran to embellish the collection’s wearable sweaters and fur scarves. All of the collection’s de Saint Phalle-inspired items thus featured either the artist’s iconic color-blocking motifs or her flowy and airy sculptured silhouettes, which will inevitably grant freedom of movement and expression to anyone who will wear them.
When not focusing on the Franco-American icon, de Libran’s Sonia Rykiel fall 2017 collection treated us to outerwear staples that really helped Sonia Rykiel reach one of its most remarkable ready-to-wear peaks from the past few season. The line-up’s protagonist was the trench coat here, which was unapologetically Parisian-inspired albeit with a clear, cosmopolitan spirit in mind.
The cropped-trousers, paired with high boots, were equally prominent, and we bet will also become extremely popular as soon as they hit the stores. The remaining part of this collection was all about rich eco-fur, velvet and, of course, intricate knitwear, which is and will always be one of Sonia Rikyel’s trademarks.
Photos courtesy of Vogue