Cool lemon sorbet at Sonia Rykiel

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Sonia Rykiel's woman stepped out in soft silk pleats in a palette of yellows from the palest lemon sorbet to rich ochre, as the house showcased its Spring-Summer look for next year on Saturday.

Pretty 1940s curls, parted and pinned to one side, set the tone for a light-as-air collection that paired flowing silk pants, culottes or midi-skirts with sleeveless ribbed knits or fine-pleated tops.

A thin ink-black stripe ran down the side of cool yellow dresses, marking out a pocket, or continuing into a strap laid across the shoulder, like a line leaping off the page.

"I like the idea of the black cutting through all these neutrals like a drawing," the Scottish designer April Crichton, who created Sonia Rykiel's past five seasons together with the founder's daughter Nathalie, said backstage.

The fashion house Friday announced that Crichton is to take over as style director for its ready-to-wear lines, and on Saturday she tooka bow hand in hand with Nathalie Rykiel.

"I am now officially in charge," she joked backstage. "I am very proud."

Crichton said she aimed this season for "something very dynamic and energetic and at the same time something very poetic and feminine."

Her challenge as a designer, she said, was "to make people feel good, to feel they have something unique and special."

Moving down the colour spectrum, a knitted catsuit in sand-coloured glittery jersey had holes pierced above the waist, where a black line scored out a trompe l'oeil belt.

A rust-coloured wraparound skirt was matched with magenta ankle boots and a long-sleeved striped jersey, while a deep-pocketed sleeveless dress -- white at the front, tawny orange behind -- swished comfortably around the hips.

For evening the black ribbon motif ran down past the shoulderblades of an aerial dress with sweeping skirts in a blended print of tangerine and plum.

© 2011 AFP

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