SPRING SUMMER 2019 pre-collection


Spring flowers and femininity subverted, menswear turned inside out, a new uniform, a wardrobe of knits,
exaggerated or redefined proportions, stripes a go-go. 

Sonia Rykiel was at the origin of the concept of Parisian chic and fifty years on Julie de Libran delights in redefining this notion for tomorrow.
The rules are the same but applied differently to create a collection where tough flirts with tender, menswear is appropriated
to create completely feminine looks. Denim, tweed, and tailoring, her new Rykiel perennials find fresh expression and serve
as perfect foundations for this ebullient collection. 















'One must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower…..' Hans Christian Andersen

If Sonia Rykiel was an instigator of the idea of Parisian chic over half a century, it falls to Julie de Libran to reinvent the notion for this new season. The same rules apply; ease, nonchalance, confidence, masculine/feminine, simplicity, day to evening, mix and match, but they are played out differently. This Parisienne has cannily appropriated the style quirks of other tribes and eras making them infinitely Rykiel for tomorrow.  

Her wardrobe embraces the irregular alongside the regular, the precious alongside the street. Pretty with tough.  Denim subverts classic tailoring, lady-like tweed demonstrates a touch of folly in fantasy pieces striped with fringing. The poetry of the flower acts as the perfect foil to masculine pieces and rougher fabrics.

At the heart of this Rykiel precollection, the little flowerswhich symbolise the rebirth of Nature in spring play it big. Lily of the valley, whose delicate blossoms denote sincerity, joy and good luck, mimosa evoking secret love, and sensitivity, and lavender, femininity all grown up.  But this is no sentimental evocation. The lily of the valley becomes an all-over print (its repetition creating a new colour on satin back crepe) mimosa, an abstract yellow note on stretch jacquard, even a stripe on knitted dresses with multicoloured mimosa motif.  Bunches of lavender create a diagonal on silk crepe de chine. Classic botanical prints of these blooms are treated like rock and roll t-shirt transfers, then embroidered to add preciousness. Flowers creep onto strict A-line skirts and otherwise sober double-breasted jackets in bright leather applique, onto shoes and a platform ankle boot, an outsize canvas tote with botanical print and even ankle socks. 

The man’s wardrobe(always a rich seam of inspiration for de Libran) has literally been turned inside out, offering reinvented pieces cut in a classic Glen plaid with the seams on the outside, creating stripes of bright colour and a frame.  Amasculine-cut leather donkey jacket toughens up a sweet lily of the valley-sprigged pleated mini dress.Proportions surprise - the classic double-breasted St Germain tailored jacket adopts a bigger shoulder and longer length. It is worn too, sleeveless, creating a powerful new day silhouette, its metal buttons evoking a modern uniform, echoed in a high-waisted sailor pant and naval-style shirt. The perennial Rykiel trench is longer, lighter and less tailored, the Garden Coat, or is reinvented in knit.

Unexpected mash-ups give modern edge:  a denim jacket body is integrated into an otherwise serious plaid coat, a neat double-breasted jacket in double face wool sprouts puffa arms in red nylon, a trompe l’oeil seamed white leather biker is incorporated in a linen tweed jacket. 

From the signature stripe is born a tonal vertical stripe printed on leather.  It introduces an optic note and looks completely fresh worn with white or in a 60’s style shift dress with popper front.  The stripe finds its way down the side of denim, in sculptural knitted dresses and knitwear. Milano horizontal stripes design a graphic black and white trench and multi-coloured trouser.  Stripes too define the shape of the season’s shoe the Racer. The Cindy bucket, the season’s bag incorporates the stripe in the bold leather bands which cross it. From the stripe to the check - a silk taffeta tartan adds an esoteric air and freshness to wide-legged pants and a trench. 

There is a certain restraint in some pieces - the new 40’s style Belle de jourdress, the Soniacrepe de Chine dress an archive gem, with a feminine ruffle, a neatly pleated crepe skirt, a perfect pair of stretch cigarette pants. But on closer inspection there is usually an unexpected twist or the restraint is intended to offer up the perfect underpinnings for this ebullient collection.