Change is in the air at Sonia Rykiel, with Julie de Libran on deck to assume her new role as artistic director for Spring ’15. Still, that didn’t preclude Geraldo da Conceicao—who spent two years there—from making his final Resort collection for the French label a strong one. The latest offering began with a series of busy, patterned jacquard looks that keyed into a seventies menswear aesthetic. While the full-on pantsuit felt a bit fussy, a printed blouse (styled with a wisp of a lace bralet underneath) tucked loosely into matching high-waisted culottes packed a one-two, masculine-feminine punch.
As the lineup progressed, the silhouettes softened up significantly—and to winning effect. Updating house signatures, Da Conceicao put a modern twist on sparkly Lurex separates and gauzy georgette shirtdresses. In regards to those famed knits, highlights included clingy tennis sweaters and a Mondrian-esque color-blocked number piled with a striped scarf wrapped around the neck. Accessorized with patent mule loafers featuring whimsical gold charms that spelled out “Amour,” the outfit was quintessentially Rykiel.
Elsewhere, Da Conceicao revved things up with a playful motorcycle motif found on intarsia pullovers, embellished T-shirt dresses, and even a few novelty helmets (that were admittedly a tad overkill). Was Madame Rykiel herself a biker babe? “No. But she would be riding in the back having fun, dangling her cigarette,” said granddaughter Lola Rykiel at a preview, adding, “The clothes are very sexy dangerous, but still very bourgeoisie.” On the more subtly sophisticated side was a standout group of tailored pieces cut from nude-colored crepe paired with the aforementioned lace bralet. They captured a certain sensuality that has largely gone missing at the brand in recent seasons—something that De Libran will surely address when she gets situated at her new Saint Germain address.