He may have left Theory a while ago, but for Olivier Theyskens, the sultry magic remains with his Paris Fashion Week S/S 2018 collection, inspired by his biggest hits between his humble beginning and his work in the industry.
It was a shame that between Theyskens’ showcase and another big name in the rush of Fashion Week, that there were one too many empty benches and too much legroom. (Apparently it’s said that anyone who shows before a certain Saint Laurent, will be cursed.) While sparse in attendance, there was nothing lacking as Theyskens and his team remained true to their philosophy, work and art in a quieter venue on the other side of town. As it is, quality over quantity – and it truly, truly shows.
A mix of contemporary cocktail looks, long coats, silk-based dresses and even incredibly done lingerie pieces reflected Theyskens’ tailoring expertise, and his love for his Belgian heritage. Silhouettes were approached with precise and sharp shapes – in the manner of small graphical details and asymmetrical draping of pants and dresses. For the more seasoned Theyskens fan, references from past collections (such as Spring 2017 with the corsets and body-hugging silhouettes) were a nice touch to the Belgian origins of this designer in his own right. From Rochas, Nina Ricci and of course, his recent endeavour at Theory, there were memories and many nods to iconic looks he’d created in his time. As Theyskens would humbly put it, ‘a return to fundamentals’: looks that served functional, practicality and visual feasts for the eyes. Signature pieces like tight waists, the gloves and the hook and eye made several appearances holding together various satin looks and accentuating silhouettes.
The colour palette was kept to a minimal with the designer’s favourite shades of black and white – while exceptionally modest in tone, were very powerful stars of the show. Additionally colours of blush pink, mauve and even purple came out in rare spurs, but only to elevate the collection to the height of what could be deemed one of the more memorable and successful shows of the season. Romantic, even.
While the looks came out exuding a sensuality that no-one could truly miss, the true stars of the show would have had to have been the shoes – typical hook and eye attached to pin-needle heeled ankle boots. A go-to look for any Theyskens customer looking to amp up their outfit for a more subversive sexiness – or one who wants to channelling the elusively charming look of the models on the runway, to say the least. How would you not want to look sultry in a thigh showing, exceptionally neck plunging, body hugging draped dress with a Theyskens heels? Or perhaps a lingerie-inspired bodice with a draped skirt and white gloves for a more ethereal feel? Or even a voluminous black taffeta skirt with biker boots that’s both bougie and punk.
An Olivier Theyskens woman is one that is essentially a femme fatale, and only the designer knows how to bring out that charm with a bit of playfulness and power.
The venue may have not been full of editors and fashion goers, but it wasn’t in vain – for this was one of the better collections available for eyes to feast on. He remains humble in his work, and exuded geniality and truth in his design. It’s always such a pleasure to know Theyskens comes back stronger every season.