PARIS — Groundlessness is fine for those whose feet have never touched terra firma. Julie de Libran is different, however. Since assuming the creative helm at Sonia Rykiel from its founder and namesake in 2014 she has embraced the label’s free spirit, its sense of freedom to explore the world in all its fascinating detail. And, yes, it is a fascinating world at Sonia Rykiel and none more so than Saturday evening at École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts for the Sonia Rykiel Fall / Winter 2017 runway show. Julie de Libran reportedly used the life and work of Niki de Saint Phalle as a point of departure for her fall collection. Inspired by the late artist’s use of color and form, but also crucially her personal wardrobe, Libran brought Nika de Saint Phalle back to vivid life. The resulting collection possessed a crafty flare, which gave a loving embrace to all models cast for the show including a quartet at Next, Nandy Nicodeme, Wangy, Lineisy Montero, and Selena Forrest. And to be clear, this collection was all about love, the message of which could hardly have been missed as models walked through an arched passage carved out of an asymmetrical heart covered in an crumpled aluminum skin. With the right chamber swollen larger than the left, the vital organ gave an impression that it was in fact beating. No question about that, although Julie de Libran might be no cardiologist, she is unquestionably adept at telegraphing love into the fabric of life.

Credits include: Client, Sonia Rykiel; Collection, Women’s Ready-To-Wear Autumn / Winter 2016; Clothing design, Julie de Libran; Styling, Camilla Nickerson; Hair, Paul Hanlon; Makeup, Diane Kendal; Casting, Piergiorgio Del Moro; Video, Damien Neva.