“She is a paradox, she’s elegant and erotic, distant and sensual.” – Christian Lacroix
“The key to my collections is sensuality,” she told Vogue in 1981 (Voguepdeia).
It is that sensual easiness that makes me adore Sonia Rykiel. She is somewhat unique in her sexy sophisticated but wearable take on fashion. When I think of parisian style I think of Sonia Rykiel. Parisian born in 1930, Rykiel started out as a window dresser, married and pregnant in 1962 simply wanted a comfortable chic sweater to wear. She used a supplier to her husband, boutique owner, Sam Rykiel, to design her own.
“I became a designer by accident, it was not planned.” – Sonia Rykiel
Sonia Rykiel thereafter created her first maternity dresses and a sweater, called the Poor Boy Sweater, which would make the cover of ELLE fashion magazine, and bring Rykiel fto be know as the “Queen of Knits” by 1967.
Rykiel was the first to print words on a sweater and even before Japanese fashion innovators to utilize seams on the outsides of clothing. She is an innovator in many ways. Writer of fashion books and children’s stories, she paints, pens social commentary and promotes her models to have fun on the runway. Never taking fashion seriously is as joyful to watch as her presentations make it seem. J’adore.
This week Rykiel is featured on a rerun of Sundance Channel’s limited series THE DAY BEFORE, a behind-the-scenes look at six major fashion houses in the final hours before a runway show. The episode features a runway show in which many of Paris’ major fashion houses came out to celebrate Sonia Rykiel Brand’s 40th Anniversary in 2009. It includes 30 major design houses including Lagerfeld for Chanel, Diane Von Furstenberg, Haider Ackerman, Gaultier, Martin Margiela, Lanvin, Rodarte, and their tribute to the brand. At the time Rykiel was still designing for the brand, after 40 years. LOVE.
Here is a fabulous interview with Rykiel in 2010. Recognizable by her wild frizzed red hair and blunt bangs Sonia Rykiel is truly Icon.