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At Rykiel, Light and Whimsical

by Timothy Hagy

PARIS, July 1, 2005 - On Friday afternoon the fashion flock filed into L’École des Beaux Arts for the Rykiel Homme show. And what they soon saw was a carefree collection full of contrasts of texture and color that came off with a natural panache.

As the first of the 25 boys hit the catwalk, a feather brooch in the lapel of his melon-red jacket, the theme was clear. Scarves twirled, the soundtrack rocked, and sweaters melted into a kaleidoscope of abstract prints.

But Sonia Rykiel had already as much as said so before the show ever began. “The inspiration this season,” she mused, her voice trailing off from time to time as if in deep thought. “well, it’s colors - strong colors - stripes and contrasts. Military-inspired jackets that look about 1935 and jeans in colors, and that mix of knits and cotton. And then there’s a shade of green, and it’s a green difficult to describe...”

A cross between aqua and lime, that veradant hue trimmed sweaters, wound about hats and popped up in sneakers and sandals. Michael Roberts, illustrator of the New Yorker, seemed to be enjoying it all. Reminded that he had complained his eyes hurt from looking at so much black last season, he broke out into a fit of giggles.

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