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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

Sonia Rykiel: A Blast from the Past

Suzy Menkes at Paris Fashion Week: Day Seven

10 Марта 2015


Wow! Two progeny of Mick Jagger in the same show! 

First out on the Sonia Rykiel lips-and-cigarette-patterned carpet was Georgia May Jagger, with that pouting mouth and wash-and-go dirty-blonde hair. Wearing a Chanelesque tweed mini-dress with thigh-high boots, she had a Marianne Faithfull look. 


Elizabeth Jagger presented more on the boyish side: a silver Lurex striped top with velvet pants, a multi-coloured fur throw, and hair shaded a hot ginger to rival Sonia’s own locks. 

The venue was the Rykiel store on Paris’s Left Bank, an area that was the hotbed back in 1968 of France’s cultural revolution. Designer Julie de Libran, in her second show for the house, had returned to the Sonia Rykiel heartland. But what came out on the in-store runway was pastiche. 


Imagine the set of a film that was celebrating the Sixties with all its sexual and sartorial freedom. (Suggested title: Youthquake.) The ‘characters’ were perfectly dressed for this past era, with a mishmash of Courrèges miniskirts in space-age silver and punched with holes; Velvet Underground-style trousers, thigh-high boots and multi-coloured faux fur. 

Add: a few Rykiel-style shrunken sweaters. 

But there lies a problem. Though this fashion pastiche was amiable, not done as parody, it did not get to the heart of the intelligent, educated push for societal change that Sonia Rykiel stood for. The collection just mimicked the clothes of the past without reinterpreting them for today. 


There were plenty of appealing pieces, including the tailored peacoat fluffy with white shearling that opened the show, followed later by a midi-length version. There was the teen-scene, sweater-girl look that Rykiel was famous for, in silvered horizontal stripes or a fuzzy mohair roll neck. A couple of male models showed the familiar stripes. 

But I did not feel that this knitwear had been put through a rigorous thought process, one that considered how digital developments could alter shape or pattern. 

Julie de Libran seems too respectful of Sonia as it was – and not of Rykiel as a now and future brand.


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