Theyskens' Theory Fall 2011: Building on an Idea

Whether it's because of his short-but-storied past or undeniable talent, Olivier Theyskens has brought a new excitement to New York fashion. Maybe it's simply because he's creating signature looks on a mid-level marketing exec's budget. His latest capsule collection for Theory, where he is the brand's new creative head, was both wearable and directional, without losing site of his new vision for the label.
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Whether it's because of his short-but-storied past or undeniable talent, Olivier Theyskens has brought a new excitement to New York fashion. Maybe it's simply because he's creating signature looks on a mid-level marketing exec's budget. His latest capsule collection for Theory, where he is the brand's new creative head, was both wearable and directional, without losing site of his new vision for the label.
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Whether it's because of his short-but-storied past or undeniable talent, Olivier Theyskens has brought a new excitement to New York fashion.

Maybe it's simply because he's creating signature looks on a mid-level marketing exec's budget.

His latest capsule collection for Theory, where he is the brand's new creative head, was both wearable and directional, without losing site of his new vision for the label.

The show opened with some loose, flared brown corduroy's and red lips--a warmer palette than we typically expect from him. But it soon moved into the moody greys, lavenders, and black he works with so often, evident in velvet blazers, sheer pleated skirts, and pegged pleated pants.

At the end, there was a full-on ball gown, reminiscent of the cocoon silhouette of the 1950s, and sure to bring Theory to Hollywood. But what we like best about what Theyskens is doing at Theory has not to do with newness, but familiarity. The mark of a great designer are signatures that are true to him and only him. For Theyskens, those are wide leg pleated skate pants, as well as blazers with short tails and a open V at the back of the neck. These were in his previous collection, and they'll be in his next. And for that, we're happy: It's a sign of a truly retail-ready designer.

(One caveat: The models were too skinny. Way too skinny. I understand that Theysken's look is long and lean, but it made me uncomfortable. Most women who buy into Theory are not 5'10" and 98 pounds.)

**All photos: IMAXTREE