Paris 04/06/09. Photos by Nathalie Lagneau/Catwalking/Getty Images.
It's a shame, really. We were all pretty bummed when we heard the news of Olivier Theyskens leaving the house of Nina Ricci. So what if his creations weren't commercial? His creations were otherworldly, so special. With a lighter touch than most, Theyksens still managed to deliver strong silhouettes and a slightly bent perspective. With a vengeful hand, in his last collection for the house, he stuck it to the man.
I do spy a commercially viable stiff purple metallic coat and a red carpet-worthy eggplant dramatic swirl gown. Oh, and hello hot pink! And there was enough drama for your grandmama via invisi heel platforms, a copper bodysuit, high/low hemlines, and languid pants. Signature Olivier splashes, like trickles of beading and Edwardian jackets, make things extra special. We have no doubt the gentile designer will find the silver lining — may his erstwhile employers eat it up.
To see more dark and stormy Ricci, read more
>> Rick Owens traded in his Spring 2009 nuns for Fall 2009 swans, with feather headbands and ice queen pastels intermixed into his usual black palette. Apparently, a good number of the models showed up backstage — including Sasha Pivovarova, who teasingly complained about her jacket causing people to touch her — wearing at least one Rick piece, a testament to his fashion following; another testament: Anna Wintour chose his show as the last to which 60 Minutes's Morley Safer would accompany her. But when you've got jackets and boots like these, what do you expect?
>> THE MODELIZER — Balenciaga broke a couple of new faces today — Johanna Kneppers and Gwen Loos — so where's 18-year-old Russian model Ranya Mordanova's big Paris debut happening? Models.com promises she's "a stealth candidate poised for a major breakthrough" and "has had several clients circling here with avid interest." We hear Givenchy's doing exclusives this season to back up its new model-making credibility, but is she the right look? [Of the Minute]
>> Olivier Theyskens's position at Nina Ricci is confusing, to say the least — it's generally viewed that the Fall 2009 collection is his last for the brand, and supposedly Peter Copping is already lined up to succeed him when his contract runs out in October, but the company declines to comment. Now, rumors are going around that management actually already fired Olivier, but he won't leave — he does have the option to do one more collection for the brand, so maybe he's hoping to change management's mind?
Needless to say, Olivier admitted to reporters that today's show was an emotional one, and he took a long bow at the end of the show to a standing ovation. Gone was the Olivier who shows in the Tuileries Gardens and thrives on romantic gowns; instead, he sent out pieces with Mugler-inspired shoulders and a harder edge in a warehouse setting. And let's not forget the insane shoes — stilt-like — some say 8-inch, some say 10-inch, platforms with either no heels or conventional stilettos dangling in the air — close-up here. Surprisingly, there were no falls, only a couple of wobbles. All in all, a return to Olivier's fetishistic roots — the sheer pieces were most successful — but will it be enough?
Salma Hayek and her husband Francois-Henri Pinault were out today to catch the Balenciaga show during Paris Fashion Week. Just like their airport cuddles, Salma and her man were still all loved up as they left the presentation hand-in-hand and smiling at each-other. Salma is always VIP, but now that the CEO of PPR is always on her arm she's treated even more like royalty. A crowd apparently trailed the couple shouting congratulations on their recent marriage, and Salma graciously thanked them. It's a big week for Francois with his company's many events, so hopefully Salma will be by his side during the next fashionable few days.
To see more of Salma, Francois-Henri and Anna Wintour just read more
Gareth Pugh's Fall 2009 range was shown in video format but a few people got the proper showroom treatment complete with runway simulation and everything. After all, no matter how praised is the video, a sober look at the clothes is requisite. Pugh worked with that jarring pin motif, which we first saw in his men's show, and also experimented with geometric shapes on varying scales. One morsel of wisdom you can take away from this collection: thigh high boots are a sure thing.