Sophie Theallet Fall 2011: Liquid Satin and Black Berets

After a brief stop in Mexico this Spring, the spirit of Sophie Theallet’s collection has returned to her native France – or perhaps, the idea of France we Americans gobble up like pommes frites. The models wore black berets and ribbons around their necks, as they walked the runway in satin blouses, knee-length dresses, and fine-gauge sweaters that made us want to light a cigarette and imagine we were in the Left Bank of the '60s.

It was very sexy, but still smartly discrete – just the sort of sultry that a front row like Anna Wintour, Tonne Goodman, Sally Singer, and Amanda Brooks is likely to appreciate.

Some pieces, like a sleeveless princess-seamed dress with an A-line skirt that flowed to the knee, might have verged on sweet, had they been cut by a less expert tailor. But Theallet trained at the hand of Azzedine Alaïa, and most of the solid-colored silk dresses skimmed every curve. (Maybe hold those frites after all.) A more modest girl could drape herself in an unstructured chocolate coat that doubled as a dress, with a tiny tie at the waist, or a soft heather grey suit with full-legged trousers.

For our part, we’d opt for the taut navy knee-length dress, with a slightly square neck and a touch of volume at the sleeves. Our cobblestones may be in the Meatpacking District, but in a dress like that, we could pretend we have Paris.

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