>> IN PRODUCTION —Mark Walsh and Leslie Chin's fourth jewelry collaboration with Rodarte didn't make it onto the runway for Fall 2009, but it will be making it into stores — including Colette. The 21 pieces of silvered bronze and rock crystal jewelry were inspired by medical experiments, and W's got a few pictures. Speaking of Rodarte, they seem to have a new brand ambassador — Reese Witherspoon, who has changed her Nina Ricci brand alliance. [W Editors' Blog, Elle News Blog]
>> Until now, we've only had an overheard reaction from Anna Wintour with regards to Olivier Theyskens's recent ousting at Nina Ricci, but suffice it to say she wasn't happy. In her April 2009 Vogue editor's letter, however, she makes her discontent painfully clear:
"Talent is a serious business. At Vogue, we do not take for granted the miraculous emergence, development, and ascendance of great artists. We depend on them for our livelihood. Without . . . the smashing of the rules that their progress gloriously entails, there is no culture worth celebrating. Olivier Theyskens's recent departure from Nina Ricci suggests to me that the vital role of artistic talent has been obscured in the current economic climate. My staff and I were shocked to learn that Theyskens's contract would not be renewed; and I am very concerned that the business of fashion is undervaluing the most important asset our industry requires: creative visionaries. There's a reason we continue to see Theyskens's influence everywhere, from catwalks to the mall. He'll be back, but fashion must hold its nerve. This is the mission that we at Vogue happily shoulder."
And that's enough to make Nina Ricci executives squirm in their seats. Not that anyone was doubting Anna would let Olivier slip through the cracks, but this is a pretty good affirmation that it won't happen. Now, just to wait and see what job she gets him next . . . or maybe it will be backing for a line of his own?
>> All signs pointed to Olivier Theyskens's imminent exit from Nina Ricci, and now it's official: house and designer released a joint statement revealing that Olivier is gone as of March 10, despite the fact that his contract goes through October.
Neither Theyskens or Ricci would comment beyond the statement, in which the house indicated it “wishes to re-orientate its development strategy for the years to come. Consequently, Nina Ricci and its artistic director Olivier Theyksens have decided by mutual agreement to cease their collaboration.” All signs point to Peter Copping, top design deputy at Louis Vuitton, being tasked with the reorientation as Olivier's replacement, but no mention of him was made in the statement, and thus no word on when he will be transitioning over for his first Ricci collection.
>> INSIDER WIRE —It may be over for Olivier Theyskens at Nina Ricci, but fashion is not over him — apparently, upon being told yesterday's collection was his last for the label, Anna Wintour's response was, "How could you do this to me??" Meanwhile, Pierre Rougier, founder of PR Consulting and Ed Filipowski, co-president of KCD, were surprise front row guests, adding fire to rumors that Olivier may soon have a namesake line. [A Shaded View on Fashion, FWD]
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
>> 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?
- In addition to Calvin Klein in New York, Prada in Milan, and Balenciaga in Paris, Givenchy has emerged as a fourth major-model-making platform due to the "increasing power of that show and campaign in giving new girls maximum visibility" [The Imagist]
- Thursday's Nina Ricci show "is almost universally agreed to be designer Olivier Theyskens's last collection" for the brand, and with the recent clash of his $15,000 gowns versus the label's commercial branding, will he give in and make retailers happy or go with his heart? [FWD]
- Hotly anticipated, Rose Cordero has only appeared at Burberry so far, but COACD seems to know something we don't . . . [COACD]
- Rochas is relaunching with Marco Zanini in charge; An insider who attended a preview last week "showed much enthusiasm for the line" [FWD]
- Is Balmain the new Balenciaga? It's Balmania out there: Christophe Decarnin's Spring 2009 glitzy '80s moment permeated Fall 2009 collections from New York to Milan, and his $1,500 jeans are still flying off the shelves, even in this economy [FWD]
>> INSIDER WIRE —It looks like Olivier Theyskens and Nina Ricci owner Puig are continuing to play nice — just a couple of weeks after Olivier was seen sitting at the Nina Ricci table with the brand's president Manuel Puig during a charity event, the Paris Fashion Week calendar has been released, and Nina Ricci is on it, business as usual. It looks like Theyskens might stay on until his contract ends in October — but sources say that Peter Copping is indeed in line to replace him after that. [WWD]
>> Olivier Theyskens or not, Nina Ricci's Spring 2009 ad campaign proves management is serious about taking the label more commercial. In the past, the label's campaigns have been much more forward-thinking — Natasha Poly rocking out in sea spray for Fall 2008, Karlie Kloss and Courtney Smerski going abstract for Spring 2008 — but judging about this first image, Spring 2009 is all about that newly-expanded accessories collection. How else are we supposed to interpret Lachlan Bailey's studio shots of Natalia Vodianova, N and R charms plainly in view?
Last night, Renee Zellweger showed her support for ex-Nina Ricci design head Olivier Theyskens and shined in a ravishing red Nina Ricci dress and suede Louboutin pumps. Her sizzling hot look is nothing short of perfection; I like how she added extra dazzle by wearing a bright red cocktail ring. It's simultaneously sultry and sophisticated. Awesome.
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