My first encounter with Sonia Rykiel was back in fall 2000, when I was newly arrived in Cambridge, MA, to receive the obligatory Ivy League fix that was part of my education. Spending literally all of my free time at the Boston Ballet School, Green Street Studios, Dance Complex and Impulse Dance Studio (where we would always watch Judge Judy before class, waiting for the cheap landlord to turn on the heat in the freezing studio on Mass Ave!), I never saw any reason to dress up... so I basically lived in white tights, knitted jumpsuits, leotards and wrap cardis, all paired with a fresh-faced no-make-up look and hair slicked back in a ballet bun. For class at the uni, I would just slip a pair of Diesels on top of the leotard and tights... unless I felt really lazy and opted for bell-bottomed warmup ballet knits instead. I was going to the dance studio anyway directly after class, so why bother picking out an outfit for Pol Sci 101, right? Obviously, I have changed a lot since then...
My roommate cared about fashion and style even less than I did. Her wardrobe was based on 80s bright-hued ski jackets, mom jeans and worn-out sneakers, reeking of foot odor - indeed being the living proof that all French women are certainly not stylish! Hence, when a distant acquaintance sent her a bottle of Rykiel Rose for her birthday, she immediately regifted the pink box to me without even unwrapping it. And I fell in love at first whiff. Suddenly, my Anais Anais, Acqua di Gio and Angel scents seemed incredibly boring. I broke up with all of them and instead wore Rykiel Rose anywhere I was headed - economic history lectures, Starbucks, the library and, of course, pointe class. And from there, the leap to getting hooked on Rykiel's RTW collections was not too drastic. I wore knits daily on a daily basis already, and was excited to realize there was actually a way to morph my signature look into some kind of style more suitable for life outside the ballet studio. From there, my interest in fashion continued to grow, and veritably exploded a couple of years later after I had moved to New York... but I will never forget how Sonia Rykiel was the one designer who got me started.
These memories all came back to me this morning, when I had breakfast in bed and flipped through last month's Nylon, featuring three Sonia fans showcasing their favorite looks from the label (pictured above right/left). I think I will have to rummage my closet and see if I can find any striped knits that I can wear today to pay tribute to Sonia while I walk the pup, sip ice coffee and dream about the MA fall foliage from nine years ago!
Hope everyone is having a great Sunday - below are some Rykiel Resort 2010 favorites to admire:
Man in a Can, 57th & Madison. - Because we all need a break now and then.
5 years ago