Sophie Theallet: French Country Dresses and Coco Rocha

The entire upper half of Vogue's masthead turned out for CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner Sophie Theallet's Fall 2010 show, which was a tribute to feminine French dresses and country-girl chic.

All of the major editors were piled into the front row -- Anna Wintour, Grace Coddington, Tonne Goodman, Cathy Horyn, and of course Andre Leon Tally in the biggest fur coat we've ever seen. Even Theallet's designer pal Rachel Roy turned out to support her, raving about the wearability of Theallet's designs. Indeed, despite her French heritage, Theallet's become embraced as a classically American designer: Michelle Obama, the current icon of American fashion, is a huge fan.

When we spoke to Theallet in her Brooklyn studio (read: Brooklyn apartment) a couple of weeks ago, she told us about how her fall collection was shaped by folklore and the idea of a "princess dress" -- not necessarily a Cinderella gown, but a dress that all little girls remember falling in love with. To be sure, the focus here was definitely on dresses -- long, flowy shapes as well as to-the-knee full skirts -- though the tone of the collection was more pastoral than fairy tale, in our opinion. The strongest pieces channeled a countryside chic -- flouchy minis paired with cardigans, off-the-shoulder loose dresses, and peasant-inspired blousy frocks.

The more overtly dressed-up pieces seemed a bit forced: Coco Rocha's closing look, for example, a satin off-the-shoulder cocktail dress -- seemed overly draped and a little unflattering. Theallet's strength remains her pitch-perfect grasp of the ladylike, flattering pieces women can pull out of their closets and wear every day.

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