When you see Theyskens' Theory collection, you are reminded of the extraordinary fact that this is one of high fashion’s most romantic, deeply talented designers creating clothes for a contemporary American sportswear brand, which has become known for their well-fitting pants. It’s a most unlikely (and brilliant) collaboration. Olivier Theyskens plays that note between edgy and feminine like a virtuoso violinist — there’s a delicacy to even the most basic pieces that makes us sigh. For Spring 2012, there was a standard outfit: a pair of slouchy skinny pants worn over the sky-highest heels ever, with a metallic top and an exquisitely tailored tweed jacket that bore all the markings of a world-class designer. “Basic sweaters” had cutaway backs and crochet details, and were often woven through with metallic threading. One incredible green beaded jacket, as ornate as anything to be found in designer or even couture collections, shiny pants that looked like they had been cut from rainbow-hued cellophane, and a glowing white shift were made for the cool disco set. He finished with delicate organza gowns, one black and one oyster-hued, with a cutaway back and a slightly transparent quality. In short, it was dreamy.
- Trends: Tailored jackets, metallics, crochet, downtown chic.
- Colors: Silver, chrome, metallic green, white, gray, navy.
- Key Piece: Tailored tweed blazers that look even better from the back, metallic "cellophane" pants, a beaded green jacket.
- Accessories: Sleek bags, including a large square, flat portfolio bag, insanely high platform stilettos, and motorcycle boots.
- Who Would Wear It: Sleek, downtown girls.
>> The first Theory collection that Olivier Theyskens had a hand in designing is just rolling into stores, and both parties involved — Theory founder Andrew Rosen and Theyskens — continue to seem pleased with the partnership. Rosen told the New York Times in an article published over the weekend that he didn't want to put constraints on Theyskens's design process, but that he did want him to know how the clothes were selling: “We want Olivier to understand that a lot of what he’s doing is working but some things aren’t." And Theyskens seems to be enjoying that type of information — apparently, his debut Theyskens' Theory was bought nearly in its entirety. “It’s the first time ever,” he said, noting that when he designed ready-to-wear at Rochas or Nina Ricci, stores usually bought his extravagant dresses rather than the everyday basics.
See Malgosia Bela in the new Fall 2011 Theory campaign, plus a few of our favorite Fall 2011 Theory pieces that are now available, in the slideshow.
>> “There’s a playfulness in mixing things up,” Olivier Theyskens said while introducing his Resort 2012 Theyskens' Theory collection, which continued the designer's study in slouch. Bias-cut dresses were covered in prints inspired by the work of painter James Ensor; blazers were given U-shaped cutaways and collar slits to give them the ease of a cardigan, Theyskens explained; and acid wash made an appearance on shorties and slouchy denim.
>> LVMH is taking its time with the announcement of Dior's new designer, and it sounds like the decision still has yet to be made. At a recent shareholders' meeting, Bernard Arnault said the plan was to interview a number of candidates before making the call when "conviction" arrives.
But who's reportedly on the short list of candidates Bernard Arnault's advisors have submitted? Tom Ford, Hedi Slimane, Olivier Theyskens, Nicholas Ghesquiere, Alber Elbaz, Haider Ackermann, Prabal Gurung, and Sarah Burton. However, a source in Paris told WWD that LVMH is placing less importance on marquee names and focusing rather on “someone who understands Dior and fits the needs of the company.”
While Arnault, chairman of the board at Dior, is sure to get the final say on the appointee, Dior CEO Sidney Toledano, who has helmed the company since 1998, and Delphine Arnault (Bernard's daughter), deputing managing director at Dior and widely viewed as the eventual LVMH heir apparent, are also expected to weigh in. Apparently Dior execs are also receiving unsolicited designer suggestions from top editors and even shareholders.
Delphine, for her part, is seen as a champion of Riccardo Tisci; the Givenchy designer has reportedly been lobbying for the position as well, sketching out his vision for the brand. Bernard Arnault, meanwhile, is reportedly transfixed by royalty, and if Sarah Burton does dress Kate Middleton for her wedding at the end of the month (despite Burton's and the McQueen company's denials), she may pull ahead in the race. Arnault would be keen to launch the new Dior alongside the newly-married couple; Princess Diana, after all, helped catapult the brand's image in 1995 when she wore a Lady Dior bag and then in 1996 when she wore a midnight blue, bias-cut Dior gown by John Galliano to the Costume Institute Gala.
In the meantime, design duties are falling on Dior's in-house design studios, headed by Bill Gaytten, who has worked beside Galliano since the '80s. They're already creating the Cruise 2012 collection and have started in on the upcoming Fall 2011 couture collection, in preparation for its debut in July.
>> In the aftermath of John Galliano's dismissal, it is understood that Christian Dior plans to go ahead with its runway show on Friday. The Fall 2011 collection to be shown will be Galliano's last for Dior. Will the usual suspects be in attendance in light of the scandal? Time will tell.
And WSJ's Christina Binkley predicts via Twitter: "Don't expect the Galliano thing to end easily. French gov't will likely require a process, and there's the Galliano line to contend with." She's referring to the fate of Galliano's eponymous label — which, like Dior, is owned by LVMH. It also is expected to show as usual, but as for guest attendance, it sounds like even the label's own PR is unsure — they apparently sent out an email today asking attendees to confirm their presence. And will Kate Moss continue to have Galliano design her wedding dress?
For the conspiracy theorists, Fashionista reports: "We’re hearing rumors that the video was from October and released this week because Dior has wanted Galliano out for some time. It’s true, the timing of all this does seem suspect – the quickness with which Dior put Galliano on suspension, and the subsequent allegation that followed, capped by the release of video, the final nail in Galliano’s coffin. Word is Galliano’s alcoholism (he was often reported to be seen drunk at La Perle) and bigotry had been problems for some time." And Fashion Television's Jeanne Beker tweets: "I've seen Galliano rant and rave before. He really does need help. I love the guy (or thought I did) but am sickened by what's gone on."
So who will succeed Galliano? T's Horacio Silva tweets: "So John Galliano has been fired. Who's going to get the call — Riccardo Tisci or Alber Elbaz?" And the International Herald Tribune's Jessica Michault responds: "The safe bet is Riccardo Tisci." Other names that have been thrown around on Twitter are Olivier Theyskens, Hedi Slimane, and Haider Ackermann.
Olivier Theyskens's capsule collection for Theory went somewhat against the grain — not at all a bad thing. While there were deliciously flared mustard corduroys, wide-leg palazzo pants, and the occasional supersexy maxidress, the majority of the collection focused on mini hemlines contrasted by must-have floor-length coats. The moody palette ranged from icy blues to stirring slate grays with dashes of deep wines and a pair of eye-catching red trouser pants. We have a feeling the cozy knits and impeccable outerwear pieces will fly off the racks come fall, but until then catch our entire coverage here!
>> Olivier Theyskens's collection for Theory is now available online and ready for shopping. “The collection is for cool girls that like to wear clothes that are visionary, while still being right for today,” said Theyskens. “These clothes are what I would wear if I were a girl." Prices range from $70 to $980 and include sharp tailored pieces, like a leather blazer, and silk palazzo pants. Our favorite pieces from the collection in the slideshow.
Karl Lagerfeld Shot Olivier Theyskens, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Lou Doillon and More For Maison Michel's Spring 2011 Lookbook
>> Karl Lagerfeld first shot Maison Michel's lookbook back in 2009 (the millinery's art director Laetitia Crahay doubles as Chanel's accessories designer), and now he's back to capture the Spring 2011 Maison Michel collection, bringing some of his favorite faces along with him. In addition to highlighting the famous Maison Michel bunny ears, the lookbook also features new pieces like sculpted metal headbands, floral hair pins, and posh trilby toppers modeled by the likes of Olivier Theyskens, Irina Lazareanu, Leigh Lezark, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Lou Doillon and her son Marlowe, as well as Mark Ronson and girlfriend Josephine de la Baume. The complete lookbook, which features special pieces designed for Opening Ceremony, in the slideshow.
>> Olivier Theyskens has been living in New York for a few months now, but how is he settling into his new home? “I live in the West Village," he tells Vogue.com, "because I love that I am able to walk to the studio. I adore the neighborhood, it’s not very agitated, and it has a little bit of the feel of a European village with old history.” But that doesn't mean he's left Paris entirely behind: “When I’m not working, I spend time with friends in the city or even better, go to the beach or even better still, take another two days and quickly go to Paris.” [Vogue.com]