Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sophie Theallet’s Un-Trendy Fashion

By Christina Binkley for Heard on the Runway, wsj.com

If you haven’t heard of Sophie Theallet, don’t blame yourself. She produces a finely sewn line of clothes – all in New York, although she is French. Her samples are created in her New York apartment, with the help of her husband and one seamstress. That’s leaner than Jason Wu’s team.

Yet Ms. Theallet is worth watching because her designs go their own flattering, feminine way, rather than the way of the latest modes. “It’s not trend. My fashion is not trendy, I’m sorry,” Ms. Theallet said shyly before her show on Monday afternoon.

Hers was a collection of summery dresses inspired by Moroccan mosaics and kilims. There was a stunning off-shoulder blouse with silk chiffon over one shoulder and a burnt-orange ink blot, which I believe was actually a baobab tree, in the center.

Two simply chic shirt dresses, one in cream, the other in mauve, were office ready and would travel well.

Ms. Theallet has worked to bring her prices down by about 30% this season (one store owner I spoke with said she had dropped the designer in the past because of high prices, and is now considering placing orders) by choosing fabrics carefully. One black dress was made with the silk that is often used as lining.

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