When a new designer takes over a legendary fashion house, there is usually plenty of fuss made in the media over it. However, Julie de Libran’s appointment at Sonia Rykiel, and the absolute killer work she has been doing at the maison since day one, is criminally underrated at this point. She so fluidly mirrors the brand’s DNA that it’s as if she were born into the Rykiel family herself. She also has a gift for interpreting the ever-changing moods of fashion in a way that is glamorous but not excessive. What we’re saying is that she’s been slaying it, and she’s deserving of more recognition. Fall/Winter 2016 exemplifies her excellent design skills, as tailored looks come trimmed with maximal fur accents, and beautiful leather work is amplified with bespoke prints. Even if you prefer flashier fashion or minimalist artistry, you can appreciate how beautiful this collection is.
Julie de Libran so fluidly mirrors the brand’s DNA that it’s as if she were born into the Rykiel family herself.
Out first is a crimson plaid longline jacket, punctuated by strips of black and a fur collar. This is paired with a ruffly dress and underscores a theme of rock and romance. Plaid suiting is next on the docket, done in relaxed fits and both cropped and long jacket lengths, offering great options for workwear. If you’re searching for a luxurious update to your winter wardrobe, de Libran also has an excellent selection of ruby-red, Mongolian fur-sleeved tops, garnet leather skirts, and double-breasted striped dress-coats. Luxurious materials then mix with basics in the form of suede, denim, and fur jackets and mini skirts and chambray denim trousers with brown suede trim. Things take an irreverent turn when de Libran shows an Edwardian layered ruffle dress done in soft denim – a first for the Sonia Rykiel runway. Additionally, the presentation contains sportier elements, like netted mesh dresses and quilted silk parkas, as well as an array of printed-leather separates with art that was commissioned by Maggie Cardelú. Her work celebrates the Rykiel woman literally, with tiny faces depicting the house founder herself, Sonia, her daughters, Nathalie and Lola, de Libran, and the artist Cardelú.
For evening, de Libran kicks glamor into high gear with looks adorned in oversized paillette discs, sequin-embroidered capes, and completely sheer gowns decorated with foiled brocade. It was all gorgeous, with nary a misstep in sight. Let’s hope this one gets some well-deserved praise.