Talk of the Tents

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Sophie Theallet invents a whole new dress category: the LGD

Clean lines and minimalism were the message at

Clean lines and minimalism were the message at the Sophie Theallet Fall 2013 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. (Feb. 12, 2013) (Credit: Getty Images)

You almost feel like you should have your passport on you when you attend a Sophie Theallet runway show.  Surely there’s some sort of customs checkpoint, where cold but impeccably dressed officials should survey your papers, and a front-row seat requires a visa.  Because as soon as the lights go down, the music pumps in and the models start down the runway, well, it’s clear we’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

People have long marveled over French women and their impeccable sense of style — as if there’s something in the gene pool that predisposes them to looking fabulous. They throw together a few simple pieces, add a scarf and voila!  And Theallet’s French heritage is very apparent here in a collection that relies on a few choice shades and color combos to perk up what would otherwise look like a deceptively simple gown or cocktail dress.

The big news here is the LGD — yes, the little GRAY dress, which provides relief from women’s reliance on black. Theallet offers up various examples, from simple, stately numbers to a one-shouldered gray dress with a bright orange floral panel to one side, or a serene slate gown with an unexpected sexy, strappy open back.

There are some gray jackets and suiting thrown in for good measure, along with sweet shirtdresses in muted shades. A slinky caramel-colored gown gets jolted with bright red color-blocking and a floral print perks up the lapel on a coat, or a skirt worn with a chunky knit tank. 

If there’s anything that unifies these pieces, it’s Theallet’s preference for understatement.  There are no sequins here, no baubles and beads to flash or distract. Just clean lines and très chic. If you’re desperate for some over-fluffed fur thing, or a glitter gown, shop elsewhere, s'il vous plait.