Filing into the Sonia Rykiel boutique on Saint Germain felt like boarding some super-sexy airplane (like Britney’s Toxic video, but obviously a lot classier). We were ushered to our seats by impeccably groomed women in chic day suits, then greeted by handsome waiters carrying trays of pink champagne. Now, maybe it was the bubbly, or the silver confetti sprinkling all about or the sparkling disco balls, but it already felt like a party—and nothing had hit the runway yet.
The lights dimmed, the disco balls started spinning, Anita Ward’s entreaty to ring her bell started booming in the background and we were ready for take-off. As expected, the clothes had a 70’s vibe, but infused with Rykiel’s inimitable 40’s charm. It was a decadent disco inferno, but of the most playful variety, with Rykiel’s usual knits (a pair of cotton candy pink bloomers, for instance), translucent Lucite platforms, jumpsuits and cute little dresses. I imagined the sherbet hues had names like “cherry temptation,” “luscious raspberry” and “tropical sunset.”
The models were obviously having a ball, hamming it up, dancing, greeting the audience, flirting. They strolled down in twos, hands around each other’s waists, stopping before the pit for a little dance. By the time Can’t Stop Till You Get Enough came on for the finale, the audience was about to join the party on the runway, half of them already dancing their seats, and it was clear to me why the woman is a national treasure.