FALL WINTER 2018

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runway

sONIA RYKIEL FALL-WINTER 2018

 

‘The spirit of Post-Punk, New Wave and Pop music was quite an influence on me growing up and the way I used clothes. This is when I discovered how to express myself as somebody who is quite shy,’ says Julie de Libran, Artistic Director of Sonia Rykiel. ‘This was how I found my voice and spoke: through fashion. In turn, this collection is not a homage to, but an honouring of the spirit of Sonia Rykiel, a spirit that encouraged women to live their lives creatively, individually, and out loud – and that includes me.’ 

 

The indomitable spirit of self-expression through fashion fuelled the establishment of Sonia Rykiel’s eponymous label fifty years ago, and it continues with Julie de Libran today.  With the foundation of her house in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in May 1968, Rykiel’s individual expression coincided and became synonymous with that of a generation, a generation whose concerns she shared. Through her voice, she expressed the needs of herself and other women, a tradition that is still at the heart of the house today. As de Libran says: ‘What I do is essentially about women’s lives – and I am one of those women.’

 

For this unique moment and collection, de Libran uses both autobiography and biography to evoke a spirit of youth, non-conformity and enjoyment. Using her own story, as well as that of other women, the artistic director explores the idea of a new Parisienne, a woman at one with the attitude and style of a city but who ultimately goes beyond it. Clothes feature both utility and versatility; hard is made soft; masculine made feminine; function made flourish and vice versa. Whether it is playfully invoking and subverting classic Rykiel signatures, such as a purposeful crescendo of knits or the transformation of velour leisurewear into sharp suiting, de Libran never forgets the comfort, ease and elegance at the heart of these clothes. And while youth culture leitmotifs run throughout the collection, there is simultaneously a sense of historicism and classicism. Here, zips become less a shorthand for a rebellion and more a revelation of sinuous lines, modifying and sculpting the silhouette, decorating the edges of ruffles or slicing through soft wool blanket knits and structuring them into suiting. Altogether, de Libran travels through and conflates ideas and eras of femininity in the anniversary collection, to essentially bring them to the point of today.

 
 
 

ADDITIONAL CONTENT

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ADDITIONAL NOTES

sONIA RYKIEL FALL-WINTER 2018

 

Here are the iconic Parisienne wardrobe classics - the trench, the biker, the tailored trouser suit, the mini, the Balmacaan coat - but twisted, owing their identity as much to the garb of the heroines of punk and post punk from the 70’s and 80’s as to St Germain. Thus are born the ‘Ska’ coat, an outsize men’s coat with blanket lining, the ‘Beat’ suit, a neat shouldered double-breasted suit, and the ‘Blondie’ dress, a striped sequinned tunic in silver and black.

This is a happy new wave spirit which is expressed in a very Rykiel way.  The leitmotifs of the rock and roll rebel run through the collection.  Metal details are heroes of the piece. The simple zip becoming a stripe in its own right: it defines, redefines when unzipped, decorates and disrupts. The biker jacket zip detail lends its edge to a leather Biker Dress, a hybrid Biker Blazer and Biker Coat and the Biker Maxi and Mini Skirt. A faux leather/faux fur biker, the ‘Funboy’, lends an air of extravagance and fun.

The zip is even to be found as edging on the flounced ‘New Wave’ evening dress, lending structure to each ruffle. The stud too (already a Rykiel signature detail) finds natural expression in this vocabulary of tough femininity, even lending its mineral glitter to an exquisite, laser-cut, resin lace combined with strass, as well as to denim, coats, skirts, bags and shoes. A Chesterfield is transformed with faux leather yoke and studs and becomes the ’Madness’ coat.

Strong silhouettes eschew girliness but nonetheless often incorporate a sense of comfort in the choice of a fabric or of an enveloping cut.  In a metaphor of modern woman, hard can be soft -  destroyed ‘punk’ style expressed in mohair and crafted open wool tweeds, transparent ‘Chrysanthemum’ lace transformed into something tougher by way of zip details …. And soft can be hard – a felted knit blanket in solid or tartan with knit body becomes the perfect tailored ‘Blanket Coat’ and ‘Blanket Blazer’ which are at once structured and protecting.

In the same vein, iconic Rykiel velvet offers the ultimate comfort dressing, in superhero second skin separates and liberating track suit pieces, as well as sublimated in shimmering, structured evening suits in lame.

There are the recognisable Rykiel codes.

Versatile, transformable knits and multi-layered or multi-zipped pieces which create interesting new silhouettes. A plastic-lacquered car-coat unzips at the waist to become a jacket.

Easiness in velour and structured tailoring with stretch. 

The stripe of course, which expresses itself in manifold ways, so naturally that it is almost a primary colour for Rykiel.

Impeccable tailoring, which has become a signature of Julie de Libran’s tenure, here expressed in neat shouldered double breasted trouser suits and oversized men’s coats but also in ebullient rock silver embroidered sequins, and elegant velvet polka dot single and double-breasted blazers.

Leather which lends itself to bikers, leggings, mini and maxi skirts. Knits, from oversized ‘Stripe interrupted’ handknits to exquisite sequin scaled tunics, by way of intricate lace and crochet as underpinnings.

The season’s accessories are perfect accomplices to the silhouettes.

‘Alibi’ the multi-zipped pixie boot, and studded ‘London’ footwear recall an epoque of punk and beyond, as do the outsize ‘Judy’ safety pin brooches and the gothic diamante ‘Blackheart’ jewellery.

Hats by master milliner, Stephen Jones play with all the above codes. A sweater becomes a must-have turban. A fedora plays feminine/masculine. A beret in felted knit provides perfect winter cover and comfort, as does an audacious exaggerated chapka.

‘Boulevard’, the curvaceous and studded bowling bag in Italian calf leather, the ‘Cindy’, a go-anywhere tote bag which pays irreverent tribute to Working Girl by US artist, Cindy Sherman, the ‘Flore’, the versatile, infinitely practical fourre-tout in variations of leather, felt and canvas, and the ‘Pave’, which in name and shape tips a wink at the events of ‘68 while offering an utterly covetable vanity style bag in Taurillon grained leather, and new versions of the iconic ‘Copain’ all assure that this Rykiel woman is well-equipped in her adventures into the multi-coloured future.   

 
 
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live performance

 

Bananarama own a corner of the 80s. Unforgettable pop genius that has reverberated back and forth through the cultural landscape ever since, the arbiters of DIY pop music, fashion and women refusing the compliance option and doing business their own way.  

Sara Dallin and Siobhan Fahey met in the hall of the London College of Fashion in September ’80. Keren was Sara’s best friend. Before long, they were living together. The band formed. ‘I don't think any of us wanted to conform to a career path or get trapped in the system,’ says Siobhan, of the earliest days of Bananarama. ‘There was this post-punk attitude of breaking everything open and defining your own life. Why does it have to be bass, drums, guitar? Lets do it our way’.

On the first Bananarama album, Deep Sea Skiving, is a song called What a Shambles. In retrospect, the title feels as close to an ethos as the girls needed. ‘It wasn’t considered at all,’ says Keren. Sex Pistol Paul Cook, produced their opening single. Terry Hall from the Fun Boy 3 bought it after seeing a photo of them in The Face and loving their moccasins and asked them to sing on his debut album. In return, he sang on their hit Really Saying Something. Skiving contained the first of their string of self-penned, ramshackle, charmingly naive pop gemstones. Their natural propensity to talk straight and look great saw made them heroes of Top of the Pops, the NME, and The Face. 

Their associations ran far and wide, from shared club nights with Boy George to songwriting with Paul Weller. ‘He liked the fact we weren’t showbiz,’ says Keren. ‘It was a time that was pre-marketing and media training and all that bullshit. It was pre all that horrible celebrity culture. It was rebel pop.’ ‘We didn’t have management half the time,’ says Siobhan, ‘there was no plan.’ And yet their success kept on snowballing, escalating to the turning point in their career, a reinterpretation of Shocking Blue’s Venus, fashioned at the Hit Factory with new producers Stock, Aitken and Waterman, which went on to be a number one around the world, including America. Their music gradually grew into gleeful, unashamed classic pop. Our 4th album, Wow, says Siobhan, ‘was probably our most coherent album’.

But it saw the three best friends’ interests diverging. ‘It was such an intense period,’ says Siobhan.’I left at the beginning of ’88. We had been living in each other’s hair, 24 hours a day for years. Even our boyfriends were close friends. It got pretty claustrophobic for all of us. It couldn't sustain itself.’

The last Bananarama performance as the original trio was of Love in the First Degree, the song Pete Waterman maintains is the best record to come out of The Hit Factory and the closest he ever got to realising his dream of forging a modern-day Tamla Motown. This seismic last TV appearance with Siobhan at the Brit Awards in 1988, celebrated their entry into the Guinness Book of Records as the most successful girl group of all time. It was the Hollywood ending they deserved. Flanked by a group of muscled, greased and tanned boys in cycle shorts and black knee socks, in one feminist masterstroke Bananarama inverted strands of misogyny endemic in the music industry with eye popping extravagance. ‘It really did raise a lot of brows,’ says Keren. ‘It was about reversing roles for once.’

Almost thirty years later, the trio reassembled for a 2017 UK Tour in a pop reunion only dreamt of in the wildest imaginations by many quarters. ‘It’s part of me, part of my history,’ says Siobhan, ‘and I love what we did and the crazy life we lead. I never thought it would happen again. It’s like going back down the road to find a piece of myself that I left back then. It was pretty magical. Look what we did. Listen to the records. It’s all there.’

Said Julie de Libran ‘When I was growing up music was so important. Going to concerts, defining myself through it, defining how I dressed through it, it was the most important influence on me – it was how I began to understand fashion. When it came to thinking about this show and what I wanted to say, I thought about the joy and the energy of Sonia Rykiel’s shows, of women together. It felt like something that I should look at. I have never done it before, but for this show I wanted that feeling of celebration.

I looked for women who could help me express that, both in the choice of the models I used, but I also wanted a band.  That sense of liberation, of happiness which one has when one goes to a concert – I wanted to bring that to this show.  Bananarama to me represent the wonderful fearlessness of women, of self-belief, of honesty, of sorority, but also of joy and celebration.’

Bananarama own a corner of the 80s. Unforgettable pop genius that has reverberated back and forth through the cultural landscape ever since, the arbiters of DIY pop music, fashion and women refusing the compliance option and doing business their own way. 

Sara Dallin and Siobhan Fahey met in the hall of the London College of Fashion in September ’80. Keren was Sara’s best friend. Before long, they were living together. The band formed. ‘I don't think any of us wanted to conform to a career path or get trapped in the system,’ says Siobhan, of the earliest days of Bananarama. ‘There was this post-punk attitude of breaking everything open and defining your own life. Why does it have to be bass, drums, guitar? Lets do it our way’.

On the first Bananarama album, Deep Sea Skiving, is a song called What a Shambles. In retrospect, the title feels as close to an ethos as the girls needed. ‘It wasn’t considered at all,’ says Keren. Sex Pistol Paul Cook, produced their opening single. Terry Hall from the Fun Boy 3 bought it after seeing a photo of them in The Face and loving their moccasins and asked them to sing on his debut album. In return, he sang on their hit Really Saying Something. Skiving contained the first of their string of self-penned, ramshackle, charmingly naive pop gemstones. Their natural propensity to talk straight and look great saw made them heroes of Top of the Pops, the NME, and The Face.

Their associations ran far and wide, from shared club nights with Boy George to songwriting with Paul Weller. ‘He liked the fact we weren’t showbiz,’ says Keren. ‘It was a time that was pre-marketing and media training and all that bullshit. It was pre all that horrible celebrity culture. It was rebel pop.’ ‘We didn’t have management half the time,’ says Siobhan, ‘there was no plan.’ And yet their success kept on snowballing, escalating to the turning point in their career, a reinterpretation of Shocking Blue’s Venus, fashioned at the Hit Factory with new producers Stock, Aitken and Waterman, which went on to be a number one around the world, including America. Their music gradually grew into gleeful, unashamed classic pop. Our 4th album, Wow, says Siobhan, ‘was probably our most coherent album’.

But it saw the three best friends’ interests diverging. ‘It was such an intense period,’ says Siobhan.’I left at the beginning of ’88. We had been living in each other’s hair, 24 hours a day for years. Even our boyfriends were close friends. It got pretty claustrophobic for all of us. It couldn't sustain itself.’

The last Bananarama performance as the original trio was of Love in the First Degree, the song Pete Waterman maintains is the best record to come out of The Hit Factory and the closest he ever got to realising his dream of forging a modern-day Tamla Motown. This seismic last TV appearance with Siobhan at the Brit Awards in 1988, celebrated their entry into the Guinness Book of Records as the most successful girl group of all time. It was the Hollywood ending they deserved. Flanked by a group of muscled, greased and tanned boys in cycle shorts and black knee socks, in one feminist masterstroke Bananarama inverted strands of misogyny endemic in the music industry with eye popping extravagance. ‘It really did raise a lot of brows,’ says Keren. ‘It was about reversing roles for once.’

Almost thirty years later, the trio reassembled for a 2017 UK Tour in a pop reunion only dreamt of in the wildest imaginations by many quarters. ‘It’s part of me, part of my history,’ says Siobhan, ‘and I love what we did and the crazy life we lead. I never thought it would happen again. It’s like going back down the road to find a piece of myself that I left back then. It was pretty magical. Look what we did. Listen to the records. It’s all there.’

Said Julie de Libran ‘When I was growing up music was so important. Going to concerts, defining myself through it, defining how I dressed through it, it was the most important influence on me – it was how I began to understand fashion. When it came to thinking about this show and what I wanted to say, I thought about the joy and the energy of Sonia Rykiel’s shows, of women together. It felt like something that I should look at. I have never done it before, but for this show I wanted that feeling of celebration.

I looked for women who could help me express that, both in the choice of the models I used, but I also wanted a band.  That sense of liberation, of happiness which one has when one goes to a concert – I wanted to bring that to this show.  Bananarama to me represent the wonderful fearlessness of women, of self-belief, of honesty, of sorority, but also of joy and celebration.’

 

 
 

PRESS CONTACTS

 

FRANCE & CONTINENTAL EUROPE: SONIARYKIEL@DLX.COM

UNITED KINGDOM: JAKOB@AIPR.CO.UK

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JAPAN: CHIHIRO@CHIHIROSUDA.COM

KOREA: YUNA_WON@LOTTESHOPPING.COM

 

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