Photo credit: Getty Images (via Harper's Bazaar)
This photograph of Michelle Obama in a Sophie Theallet dress took the designer from fashion insider secret to, if not a household name, then a name that opened fashion doors worldwide.
And, if dressing America's most photographed woman wasn't enough for her this year, tonight she was named winner of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, which brings with it $200,000 and a year’s worth of mentoring. (To give you an idea of its influence, wunderkind Alexander Wang won last year, & Proenza Schouler picked up the award in its inaugural year, 2006)
Sophie Theallet's atelier may now be based in Brooklyn, but her roots and training are wholly French. Born in the South West of France, the only girl amongst five brothers, she was a tomboy who dreamt of princesses in beautiful gowns. She trained at Le Studio Bercot in Paris, graduating a year early when she won the National Young Designer Award
Although she’s best known for the decade spent at Azzedine Alaïa’s right hand, she worked first for Jean-Paul Gaultier and, after Alaïa, set up a resort line, Motu Tane, with François Nars, and named after his Tahitian resort, which was enormously successful.
In the Spring of 2006 she launched her Sophie Theallet label in NY, which has become known for its exquisite detailing, a direct link to her years with Alaia. But, lest you think this means her collections speak to a body con aesthetic, Theallet describes her signature as ‘bohemian luxe seen through the eyes of a sophisticated couturier’. What that translates to is eminently desirable, grown up clothing, which flatters a woman's body as only a combination of exceptional skill and training can do.
All other photos from Sophie Theallet SS10 via style.com