Bon Nuit Sonia Rykiel

"Everything inspires me.  A scarf around someone's neck, a blue in a Picasso painting, a stripe on the floor, a word in a book. I am like every artist, running in my head and stealing everything I see" -photo via Getty Images.

"Everything inspires me.  A scarf around someone's neck, a blue in a Picasso painting, a stripe on the floor, a word in a book. I am like every artist, running in my head and stealing everything I see" -photo via Getty Images.

Sonia Rykiel, who died Thursday in her home in Paris at the age of 86, defined the whole idea of French chic in all its sexy, sassy, nonchalant, slightly arrogant glory. In many ways she took up where Coco Chanel left off, giving women permission to be gamine, boyish and free. She was the queen of Knit Wear. She was simply one of the coolest, one of the pioneers. This woman gave the world a range of women’s wear that is fun, flattering and relatively affordable. I feel personally like she really brought awareness to the term "practical fashion". And what woman does not appreciate a relaxed style?! The older I get I seek comfort in my fashion. I need it to be gorgeous but practical and I need it to be for everyday. 

In straight-forward fashion terms, Rykiel will be remembered for her affinity for knitwear. She was adept at creating a jaunty little sweater — a fine-ribbed style known at the “poor-boy” — that felt young and easygoing but that could be worn by a multitude of stylish women. The quintessential Rykiel “look” was of a chic woman in a beret and a striped version of that little pullover sashaying around the Saint-Germain-des-Pres quarter of Paris. That neighborhood is on the Left Bank, which was Rykiel’s world, and even today, the brand prefers to present its new collections in the tight, maze-like confines of its store there.

Rykiel did not begin her career by apprenticing in the atelier of some tyrannical designer. She was a woman solving a personal problem. She was creating clothes for herself that she could not find elsewhere. She was a “styliste,” as the French might say. It was not exactly a compliment. Rykiel was not creating fashion silhouettes as Christian Dior had done with his “New Look.” Nor was she a tortured and delicate artist in the manner of Yves Saint Laurent. She was making clothes — great clothes — that captured the attitude of her day and a countless number of tomorrows. That mood —a sense of possibility — became the defining characteristic of women in the 20th century and on into the 21st.

She wasn’t selling business attire as much as she was creating clothes that simply allowed women to move agilely through their daily lives wherever they live them. Her work signaled a break with the formality of the past and all of its rules about what women were supposed to do and what they should not be. She was creating sportswear that could be worn to a party or a celebration, but there was a weight to it as well. Rykiel wasn’t froth. She loved muted palettes, especially black. Indeed, in her own personal wardrobe, black was her trademark. She incorporated reverse seams — a subdued form of deconstruction long before frayed hems and deliberate holes became associated with Japanese avant-garde designers. Her clothes emphasized the physicality of women — not so much through sexy clothes but through styles that emphasized sensuality and athleticism. (from the Gaurdian and The Washington Post)

This one made me love stripes and all hues of red. And will forever be missed. Merci pour votre mode Sonia.

Shop my favorite SK pieces here (so many various price points for every budget too)...I just snagged the beret and the crossbody for myself! 

XO

Sam