>> The knitwear fixation continues. There was hesitation to include these two beauties in my Twelve Christmas Jumpers line-up and rightly so. Last night, after doing battle with a particularly juicy bird (no euphemism intended) and a pomegranate, I’m afraid these two Sonia Rykiel pieces have emerged worse for wear. Before juices went flying around though, I did manage to photograph them against my newly white walls and floors (let’s see how long that lasts…). Before Christmas, Sonia Rykiel were kind enough to send me a few things from the S/S 14 collection, the second by relatively new creative director Geraldo da Conceicao at the house. The show was another dimmed light vaguely sultry affair that is stamping de Conceicao’s subversive groove into the knitwear house. The darker proceedings began at A/W 13-4 with that memorable passage of stretch pleather trews in a clash of vamp red and powder blue paired with reinterpretation of the signature Rykiel “poor boy” sweater. For S/S 14, in a similarly dimmed surroundings, copper-hued lamé and flesh-y tones glinted and hinted. Da Conceicao’s appointment at Sonia Rykiel may not have been a shouty one but his credentials from previous positions at Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu and Yves Saint Laurent are definitely taking the “queen of knitwear” back to its Left Bank bourgeois “thinking girl” roots.
Admittedly some of the detailing was lost on me during the low lit show but up close, these two instances of argyle remix were certainly persuasive. Sonia Rykiel isn’t the knitwear house known for its argyle knit but for S/S 14 da Conceicao sent it down an unexpected path by mashing up pops of pale blue and lime yellow frills reminiscent of retro bed jackets with a copper lamé-flecked disrupted argyle pattern. Conveniently, the diamond lines of the argyle pattern also aid the lean lines of da Conceicao’s elongated body-skimming silhouette of the collection. Little delicate star-shaped diamante buttons down the front and sides of these loose knitted tank tops are the bit of whimsy that da Conceicao allows himself in what is a very controlled and sensual take on Sonia Rykiel codes. Da Conceicao and co. may not like it but I’ve also shed some undesired daylight on to these pieces in these pics. Afterall, they did arrive in a box stamped with “reine du tricot depuis 1968”. That sort of stature deserves a brighter and lighter spotlight.