Talk of the Tents

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Sophie Theallet: Dragonfly dreams

Dragonflies flitted over long, flowing silk gowns, with

Dragonflies flitted over long, flowing silk gowns, with dramatic slits up the side for a bit (more than a bit) of leg at the Sophie Theallet Spring 2013 show at Milk Studios Tuesday. (Sept. 11, 2012) (Credit: Getty Images)

French fashion designer Sophie Theallet has a remarkable ability to craft truly special pieces that appear both bohemian and classic in one swoop of her needle and thread. And this collection proves it. Playful, strong, diaphanous, all-out sexy — she juggles a lot of style elements and somehow comes up with a cohesive whole. (And a slew of must-have frocks for women of any age.)

She kicked things off with youthful, rather innocent ensembles — vivid intarsia knit tops with an abstract or dragonfly print were combined with soft, flowing organza skirts, sheer white and frayed at the edges. The dragonflies continued, sometimes mixed with trousers or skirts with a Turkish tile pattern, and always in eye-catching shades — lilac, teal, a mustardy-orange.

What was most interesting was how a dress could feel sweet and revved-up sexy at the same time. The dragonflies eventually flitted over long, flowing silk gowns, with dramatic slits up the side for a bit (more than a bit) of leg. Or there was what seemed a simple black cocktail dress but with a stunner of a racerback, with a verrrrry slender strip of fabric down the back.

That played out in its most tantalizing form on a long, sleek, deep, deep aubergine satin gown. It looked lovely coming down the runway, but its departure made for a real moment — with that slender racerback, a strip of fabric down the long stretch of back swinging back and forth as the model walked, like the pendulum on a grandfather clock. Get that dress! You can perfect the walk later.