Despite the vibrant yellow catwalk, a sense of nostalgia clung to the Sonia Rykiel show, the first under its new creative director April Crichton. Looking frail, the house’s founder sat front row as models strutted past in her trademark cotton sundresses and Seventies-inspired floral prints. Crichton, 44, has spent her entire career working by Rykiel’s side, so the transition felt seamless. Drop-waisted pleated skirts, in fabrics ranging from a cream knit to saffron silk, came with layered leotards for a modern-day take on the sporty ease of Twenties Deauville. There were no slogan sweaters — instead, the word “divine” was playfully worked into the eyelets of a broderie anglaise skirt. Crichton took her bow with Rykiel’s daughter Nathalie, who is mulling whether to open the family-owned company to outside investors in order to help it grow. She knows her mother’s legacy must be handled with care: A roar of applause went up as the flame-haired doyenne accepted a bouquet of red roses from her granddaughter Salomé, in a poignant homage.

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