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Friday, October 3, 2008

Paris Fashion Week: Sonia Rykiel

Laurent Dombrowicz...

“When I was born,” Sonia Rykiel, now 80, has said, "my hair was so red that my mother tried to wash my head with alcohol, thinking I was bleeding. No way! I was already as I am, as red as blood.” In the late 50s, Sonia worked for her father as a window dresser, where she was discovered by painter Henri Matisse while arranging ties—and she became his muse. Ten years later, at 40, during the socio-political revolution of 1968, she started designing under her own name. Her own muse was the Parisian woman. Forty years later, Sonia Rykiel had become an iconic part of the French culture of style. Multicolored stripes, rhinestones, floppy-chic knits, berets, bohemian styling, fur coats, jerseys worn inside out—these are all hers.

For her 40th anniversary show and after-party, mother and daughter (Nathalie Rykiel is the CEO of the company) presented a lifetime of signatures. In tribute, a few dozen of her friends and colleagues were asked to design special pieces. A Martin Margiela coat made out of red wigs and a Jean Paul Gaultier dress that the model, holding knitting needles, appeared to still be making were absolutely divine. Sonia, we love you.

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