Appreciating–

Valentine’s Day is here—a day of appreciation for our loved ones.

I have been reviewing my photos from my travels to Paris over the past 35 years! Sonia Rykiel’s store at 175 Boulevard Saint Germain in the 6th arrondissement has been one of my go-to shops for decades so I could enjoy the creativity and color her windows always possess. And, I am not just talking about the bold fashion sense her style presents but also the ever interesting, stimulating, brilliant, innovative window staging. These photos were taken 14 years ago…almost to the day! Yep…14 years ago for the 14th of February holiday, Valentine’s Day!

With a closer look at this window below, can you make out what the almost single-use material was that they used?

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OK, so maybe that photo still doesn’t make it clear. Try this one…

IMG_0036.JPGOr, these two…

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STRAWS! Green heart shapes….simple, smart, successful!

IMG_0041.JPGAnd, they varied their playfulness with the straws in every window!

IMG_0048.JPGIMG_0045.JPGIMG_0038.JPGSonia Rykiel passed away August 25, 2016 at 86 years old. So, although she was not here to be able to celebrate her 50th anniversary in the fashion world, the owner of the house decided that the whole year would be dedicated to her.

Although I had taken note of her passing when it happened, I was unaware of this anniversary.  In August, I was wandering down Boulevard Saint Germain, anxious to see her window ‘performance’ at her flagship store. I soon found myself staring at shelves and shelves of books. The display was so intriguing, I made time to wander in and ask about the store’s overwhelming number of books. Easy for them to answer. She loved books. Take a look:

IMG_6439IMG_6438IMG_6441IMG_6451Here is a great article to read about her history in the fashion business and how her anniversary year, 2018, was planned out in her honor: https://wwd.com/fashion-news/shows-reviews/sonia-rykiel-50th-anniversary-11106937/

IMG_6450IMG_6447IMG_6448Along with their choice of lining ever wall with books, the brick display that I saw as I entered was also explained to me. Here is a quote that describes how the bricks were also a representation of the centerpiece of her life.  And, how the multi-colored cross- body bags symbolize the bricks, which are prominently and proudly displayed throughout the shop:

“May of 1968—and the decades that followed—was a time of great civil unrest in Paris. Mass protests and nationwide strikes against the French hierarchy marked a major social and cultural revolution in France.

It was also the same year the late Sonia Rykiel opened her very first boutique on Paris’ Left Bank. (The red-headed visionary and fierce supporter of women passed away at age 86 two years ago.) To celebrate the half-century anniversary of that watershed summer, the brand has launched a new bag, the Pavé Parisian, which literally translates to “Parisian cobblestone.” Cuboid in shape, the cross-body accessory is emblematic of the brick cobblestones student protestors used during the riots.”

You can continue reading the whole article here: https://fashionunfiltered.com/news/2018/sonia-rykiel-pave-parisian-may-1968/

A Sonia Rykiel store is also on the Right Bank in Paris at 70 rue du Faubourg Saint Honore in the 8th arrondissement, as well as a few other locations dotted around the city. After all these years of having the pleasure of viewing her ever-changing smartly dressed windows on Boulevard Saint-Germain, it was of greatest pleasure to read these two articles to learn more about the woman who was known as the ‘Queen of Knitwear. RIP Sonia Rykiel….and Happy Valentine’s Day to all my readers!

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