Sonia Rykiel: iconic moments
The Queen of Knitwear has died from Parkinson's disease in her house in Paris. We remember the visionary with some of her iconic moments
Elle Magazine: 1963
On 13 December 1963 Elle magazine put 19-year-old Françoise Hardy on its cover wearing a red-and-pink stripy Rykeil jumper. The jumper became an instant success -- Audrey Hepburn went to Rykeil's boutique Laura and bought five. Celebrities including Brigitte Bardot and Sylvie Vartan wore them and were photographed. Nathalie Rykiel, Sonia's daughter, who has run the fashion house since 1998, told The Guardian that the 'little jumper' became a symbol of the 1970s: "It was the alter ego to the pair of jeans. At the heart of the story was freedom of movement; women who were never constricted by their clothing, which adapted to them in the way they sat, drove a car, or ran to catch a bus."
Years after Rykiel opened her first ready-to-wear store on Paris's Left Bank and expanded into menswear, children's clothing, accessories and perfumes, after she'd made her name developing techniques such as inside-out stitching and no-hem finishings and had managed to write several novels, Rykiel featured in 1994 Pret-a-Porter, Robert Altman's humorous take on the fashion industry. Think precursor to Zealander. Here she is, with her fabulous collection.
In 2009 Sonia Rykiel returned with a bang onto the scheme, with a collaboration with H&M featuring that frizzy hair and the motifs that everyone had come to associate with her: candy stripes, bright colours, berets, rhinestones and -- of course -- knitwear galore.
Today, when people say 'knitwear', we may think of Yamamoto and Comme des Garçons, but Rykiel was the one who inspired the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier and his sweater dresses, Marc Jacobs and Vivianne Westwood. She transformed knitwear.