A row of closets in an estate can be daunting, or exciting. If you want to buy by the lot, sometimes you take the good with the bad.
I filled my car with 3 closets worth of clothes from the 80's with the intention of donating most of it and wholesaling a few good pieces. What I found was an incredible sense of style and taste filled these closets. It was subtle and the more I looked the more I could see it. It took me back to high school. 1984 to 1987. I loved Esprit, Benetton and La Chateau.
Sonia Rykiel was higher end and a bit more grown-up than these labels. I saw the same kind of 80's fun and whimsy as I started to sort. The quality of knits were amazing and stylish. I had to find out more about her.
Her first shop opened on the Left Bank in Paris in 1968 thanks to her invention of the "Poor Boy" Sweater. A soft body hugging sweater with higher armholes to make you look taller and leaner. It made the cover of French Elle. In 1972, Rykiel was dubbed "Queen of Knits" by Women's Wear Daily.
She was French. In every way. Style, attitude, design. She contributed to French fashion in a big way. She was bold, like Coco Chanel and often compared to her. She wore her own pieces but stuck to certain colors to keep it simple. A bright red Bob was her signature hairstyle her whole life. She was also a good friend of Karl Lagerfeld. I wasn't sure Karl was the type for good friends but she was one of his.
While I was a wannabe fashionista in high school, I fully admit to not being one today. I wear all black. It's easy to dress up with great vintage jewelry and I don't have to think about it. Loving vintage how I do, I could feel these pieces are quality. They've stood the test of time.
As I went through, I was impressed how current the whole collection was. The majority of the pieces are from the late 1980's early 1990's. The original owner of the pieces was a big fan. There are some great handbags and even earrings by Rykiel.
Sonia Rykiel passed away in 2016 due to complications of Parkinson's. She made her mark in design. I think that will be more and more apparent as time goes by.
Enjoy some of the pieces below!
They will be at the Chicago Vintage Clothing & Jewelry show at the end of February.