11 September 2008

The Designer's Apprentice

Before jumping into the fashion week scene, I had to feature Sophie Theallet (I'm admittedly way behind on this one.) After reading about her in The Moment, I was immediately taken with her clothes - so much so that I went back and looked through all five of her collections over the past two years.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Fall 2008


I love the tension between the silk, the belts and the knits - somehow they work so well together (especially the sporty stripes on the sleeves of the grey sweater.)

Beyond the clothes, though, her biography was striking. Ms. Theallet is truly a learned designer who cut her teeth studying under some of the most accomplished and revered in the industry. As a promising young thing, she opted out of the self-label path and went to learn more, working first for Jean-Paul Gaultier and then for Azzedine Alaïa for over a decade. Finally in 2007, she launched her eponymous line, receiving instant praise for the designs. The media attention was also certainly fueled by her professional relationship with Alaïa, a designer who has an impeccable reputation in the fashion press for both her aesthetic and her craftsmanship.

I don't necessarily think that everyone in the arts needs to go through a tedious apprenticeship process before branching out on their own, but Ms. Theallet's story is a nice contrast to the Project Runway-type army of egos all out for their own glory and instant success (I'm talking about the 20 somethings, here.)

Patience and restraint, I like it.

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