PARIS — More voluptuous is coming back into fashion — and so is Sybilla, the Spanish designer who rose to fame in the Eighties with minimal yet organic fashion.
On Tuesday, she was putting finishing touches on her showroom on Rue Beaurepaire, where she is selling her comeback collection for fall.
“There’s a lot of research and creativity in the shapes, but they’re wearable clothes,” the shy designer said as she demonstrated how a capelike blouse could be worn four different ways. “The biggest compliment I can get is when people tell me they wear my clothes forever.”
Sybilla hinted at a comeback two years ago when she attended a Hussein Chalayan show, which attracted a flurry of retailer inquiries. “It seems they had a good memory and they’re coming back,” she said.
The designer said she’s lined up two factories in Spain — and reunited with a knitwear wizard in Milan — to produce the collection, which spans about 75 references ranging from slouchy pants to dresses and blouses with dramatic sleeves resembling calla lilies.
There is also a range of coats and dresses in hand-felted wool produced by an in-house workshop. Wholesale prices are still being finalized, but are likely to range from about 110 euros, or $123 at current exchange, for a top, with dresses at 280 to 550 euros, or $313 to $616. Labor-intensive felt pieces, marbled by hand using heat and water, run up to about 1,000 euros, or $1,120.
The designer said she hopes to place the line in about 30 to 35 specialty stores, having had inquiries from retailers as far afield as Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Kuwait.
Sybilla last showed a collection on a Paris runway in 1991, and also worked briefly for the Italian house of Capucci. She said she started making made-to-order evening dresses out of Madrid atelier last year, foreshadowing her return to ready-to-wear, and reprising her generous, cocoon shapes.
“They’re all in my way of cutting, but all the models are new,” she said.
Several styles are transformable, including a dress with a removable panel that transforms it into a coat.
“Hopefully, I’ll start shoes next season,” she said. “I always did a little bit of everything.”