At today’s Sonia Rykiel A/W 2010 show, the lady herself sat front row (her daughter Nathalie is artistic director of the brand and designs the collection), flanked by Beth Ditto (who is up there in the frequent frower count this season, even giving Leigh Lezark a run for her money!) and Paris Vogue’s Carine Roitfeld.
Despite the fact that every model wore a huge (we are talking almost head sized here) pompom head band, the collection was much more muted and wearable than usual. Caramel browns, khaki and grey took the place of the traditional Sonia crayon brights. The use of knit - classic Rykiel - was still as prevalent as ever though. They came in every conceivable texture; mohair tube dresses so fine they were semi transparent, a simple camel coatigan which was smooth knit on the body and had jumbo cable sleeves and a military inspired 4 pocket coat made from what appeared to be boiled wool. The army theme continued with a grey silky all-in-one complete with eppoulettes and breast pockets, and an oversized ankle length great coat in a gorgeous tomato red. Of course they managed to sneak a few stripes in (well they are practically the Sonia Rykiel trade mark after all), but even they were more subtle than previous seasons and confined to panels on a sweater dress and a knitted jumpsuit.
As ever with a Sonia Rykiel show, the finale provided the money shot - the one their press office no doubt hope will make all the blogs and newspapers. This season saw the models streaming onto the catwalk en masse each wearing a maribou feather coat or dress. The effect was charming and glamorous. And when Nathalie Rykiel joined the models to take her bow, Sonia applauded enthusiastically as any proud mother would.
- Siobhan Mallen in Paris