“For the last ten years, I’ve been thinking that it’ll all come to an end tomorrow. Everyone will see that I really don’t know anything. I always thought that in the end, someone would find me out.

Sonia Rykiel. In the little colorful world of style, she makes up part of the people that I dream of meeting. She represents the idea of the free woman, creative and generous. And these few words, this light oddity, that hushed shyness makes her incredibly mysterious.

I’m at JFK, waiting for my plane to take me to London, and I remember the last day of August that I spent in Sonia’s company. It started like this, “Hello Garance, we want to create mix of your vision and Sonia Rykiel’s…”

Give my vision to the new collection, go to the showroom, try everything on? I didn’t hesitate a second. And like a spoiled child, I asked, “So Sonia, she’ll be there too?”

A few days later, I had my response. She’d be there.  YIPPPPEEEEEEE! Uh oh, stress time.

What did I get myself into? And what if Sonia thinks I’m an idiot? What if she hates all the outfits I come up with? And what if nothing catches on? And what if… And what if…

For moments of intense stress like that, I’ve only found one viable solution: don’t think about it until the last possible minute. In truth, that only works so well… So I’ve got another solution:

Surround myself.

So we left with Claire and Jade, who were helping me with the photos and styling, and the beautiful Diane. With my little entourage, I felt some confidence right away. We got everything ready all the way down to the chocolate in case I start to faint. And on top of that, whenever I have an entourage with me, I always feel more responsible. And when you’re responsible, you can’t freak out. Au contraire! You’ve got to reassure everyone around you.

So I arrived at Saint Germain des Prés, at Sonia’s, with a lot of faith in myself…  I’d totally been doing some mirror mantra work.

When she arrived at the studio, for a second there, time was suspended. Fragile and energetic at the same time, she took her place among us and starting in talking. She talked to us like she knew us, looked at the clothes, touched them, took a little twirl.

I showed her the first outfit. She lifted an eyebrow, took her hand to Diane’s low neck-line, and undid another button. It cracked me up. Then Natalie, her daughter, got there, and then Salomé, her grand-daughter, who was taking photos of everything she saw. A joyful mess of people, a little like the runway shows.

And then we talked about pompons, and she read us poetry, and then the creative teams came in to add to everything, and you saw her passionatly work on her new collection.

Diane, Jade, Claire and me were so emotional. We ate all the chocolate.

Right when we were getting ready to say goodbye, I took her by the hands to say thank you, and she said to me simply, “Come back whenever you like.”

Yep, There you go. Excuse me. Coming through, I’m Sonia’s new BFF. Yep, one second more she would have given me her direct line and had me over for tea. I’m telling you, it’s true.

In other news, these diamond Creepers, what do you guys think? The ones that Diane is wearing in the first picture… aren’t they terrific? Oddly wonderful? You think I’d be into them? Combine them with the return to flats, it makes sense, am I right? Just to be chic and practical during fashion week? Am I right? I think I want ’em.

Heeellllllloooooo, Soniaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?


All of the looks and a whole bunch of other pictures will be published on the blog Rykielles for the next three weeks, but there is a lot of other cool stuff to check out there, the archives, news, videos, and a lovely mystery lesson.

Translation : Tim Sullivan