“This Rykiel woman is a traveler,” said Julie de Libran, presenting her pre-fall collection for the French house in a showroom where giant video screens projected a collage of sounds and landscapes designed by Frédéric Sanchez.
His photograph of a snow-capped mountain found its way onto a silky shirtdress with horn buttons and green ostrich feather trim at the neck and wrists, which was paired with a chunky hiking boot with sneaker soles. “The tennis shoe at Rykiel this season is the desert boot,” de Libran explained.
Channeling a nomadic attitude, the designer focused on hybrid garments with an emphasis on comfort. A biker jacket had blue-and-black checked cashmere sleeves that detached to become a scarf. A denim jacket was lined with khaki Milano knit, and buttoned open across the back to turn into a cape.
Coats and cardigans came with a sleeve on one side, and a fringed poncho on the other — perfect for wrapping up warm on long flights. For dedicated city slickers, she showed cargo suits including an oversize version in sunset pink, and a white one with a tailored bolero jacket that had a vintage feel.
“This is actually my personal jacket that my mother gave me,” de Libran said, noting the design — an original Rykiel dating from the late Seventies or early Eighties — has been in her closet since she was a student at Istituto Marangoni in Milan in the Nineties.
“I’ve worn it so much throughout the years. I’m still wearing it now and it’s still so relevant,” she added.
The label’s signature knits this season included sweaters with striped panels that knotted around the shoulders — a faux twin set, if you will. De Libran explained they were made from leftover thread. “I feel like I don’t want any waste,” she explained. “As a designer, it’s important for me to really be as responsible as possible.”
It was a small step, but a contribution nonetheless to the sustainability movement.