Candice Huffine walks in Sophie Theallet’s Spring 2016 show. Photo: Getty Images
The sun was beginning to set over Manhattan on Tuesday night when French designer Sophie Theallet’s rooftop show began. With towering skyscrapers looming overhead, the beautiful and unexpected setting felt a little like a well-lit nest. The chirpy audience was able to bask in the best collection that the designer has put forth in some time.
While we know that Africa has always been an inspiration in Theallet’s collections, this season she worked with Beyoncé’s former stylist, Jenke Ahmed Tailly, who encouraged her to really go for it. “He said, ‘Sophie, open up and do whatever you feel, because I believe in you. I really believe in you, and you should go and make what you love.’ And I listened to him.”
Sengalese musicians formed a drum circle, and famed ‘90s supermodel Veronica Webb made the first exit in a pale green and gold tea-length dress, which featured lace made to look like snakeskin. The clothes got sexier as the show went on. Cocktail dresses with tiered layers of leather and raffia, see-through waffle skirts, and lots of revealing sheer looks that somehow did not appear gaudy or ostentatious given how much skin was on display.
By the time that Candice Huffine strutted onto the runway — in a corset and sheer dress no less — everyone (including Carine Roitfeld, who put Huffine on the map by styling her for the Pirelli calendar last year) was beaming. Theallet became friendly with model when she was designing a collection for Lane Bryant, and also made her the face of her first (and most recent) campaign. “She’s so beautiful and sweet,” Theallet told Yahoo Style. “This is Candice, and I love her.”
Following the show, we caught up with Huffine to discuss the gorgeous collection, what it was like making her runway debut, and how she hopes the industry will continue to evolve.
Yahoo Style: You looked so beautiful in the show.
Candice Huffine: Thank you, it was such a pleasure to be a part of.
It was very cool casting, Sophie is very smart.
Wasn’t it stunning? It was super diverse and every girl is so beautiful. It’s fashion now, isn’t it? That’s what we’re all about.
Yeah, absolutely. What was your vibe for the show? I know that you’re wearing all-black and were looking very chic.
I mean, I just wanted to do my best of course. Sophie is an amazing designer and supporter of women who have curves. I love how playful the collection always is. That’s her signature I think, but so, so sexy. I feel like mine was super sexy — and that’s a signature of mine, personally. I was just feeling myself in general. It felt super hot. I would actually love to wear that dress to an event any day.
So do you think you can get the hook up?
Right? Can I literally just take it off the rack? From runway to real life? [Laughs] But yeah, it was such a great experience. It’s my New York Fashion Week debut.
I thought so! How did it feel?
Great. I’m so happy to check it off the list finally. So happy that it’s with Sophie and I got to do that. And I’m looking forward to new opportunities. There are so many exciting things happening.
Are there any other designers you’d like to work with? Any hints of things on the horizon?
I mean, I love fashion and I’m up for anyone who’s willing to take the plunge. I cross my fingers very tightly and hope and wish that they are ready because I think the world is ready to see.
Do you think fashion has become a bit more accepting?
Yeah, because I think the world is. I gave a little speech in Times Square yesterday about this topic exactly.
Yes, I launched the new Lane Bryant campaign yesterday. The hashtag is #PlusIsEqual. I was just saying that the new way forward for fashion and the world in general is about acceptance and appreciation. We need to appreciate ourselves, and other people of all shapes and sizes and walks of life. That’s the norm now, so we should definitely get used to seeing that. It’s onward and upward from here.
Absolutely. It does feel like the tides are turning.
It’s exciting. I mean, who doesn’t want to see change and to see different kinds of people?
What else are you doing this week?
I think this wraps up my week here. I have some fun events to looks forward to. But then there’s always other weeks in other countries, isn’t there?