In New York, designer diffusion lines (not to mention countless collaborations) abound. In Paris, however, they’re few and far between, so it’s often difficult to get that Parisian whimsy at a contemporary price point. Sonia by Sonia Rykiel is the exception. Since 1989, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel (which, if you’re interested, was called Inscription for its first ten years) has evolved into much more than just a little-sister label—it’s developed an identity of its own while maintaining that distinct Rykiel esprit. The new Resort lineup offers cool basics such as nubby cardigan sweaters and pleated leather miniskirts, as well as playful ruffled denim shorts and striped intarsia pullovers featuring lips or tubes of rouge (both of which are favorite Rykiel motifs). Meanwhile, tailored fuchsia suits and feminine tank dresses gave the youthful gamine look more of a polished edge. At a recent showroom preview, Rykiel’s granddaughter, Lola Rykiel, was wearing a flirty A-line frock cut from the new collection’s stretchy scuba knit. It easily could’ve passed for Alaïa, but will sell for a fraction of the price.
Sonia by Sonia Rykiel’s Resort wares range from $120 to $695 and will be available at Kirna Zabete and Shopbop.com.