Only Olivier Theyskens could take a brand like Theory--a bit dusty, a bit conventional--and turn it into the most sought-after label for the downtown cool girl. And his Spring 2012 collection certainly served to reiterate that point--and win over any late-comers.
Showcased at art gallery 548 Center, in a room lined with tin foil, the collection was the perfect mix of wearable, cool staples--like a perfectly-fit basic knit tank--and more fashion-forward, directional pieces like a pair of iridescent green-and-gold pants. Speaking of pants, this season it was all about slouchy swagger: Waistbands sagged below the hip, while models tucked their hands into deep pockets. Miriam Zittel, a member of Theyskens' design team, told us that the idea for the new pant shape was inspired by Olivier himself. "That's how he wears his pants!" she said. "Slouchy, and with his butt hanging out kind of. You know, it's how cool people wear their pants." She points to the fabric above the waistband and explains, "See this is his underwear."
But if the pants were about slouch, the shoes were anything but. At a full 8-inches and with many of them sporting a pencil-thin stiletto--the shoes almost looked like something you might find in a fetish shop. According to Zittel, that was kind of the point. "We wanted to remember our Meatpacking roots," she explained. But while some certainly looked precarious, there were also slightly thicker heels--though just as high--mixed into the collection. "[Olivier] basically had this idea that there's like the pretty shoe, the bitchy shoe, and then the really bitchy shoe," she said. We think we have a feeling which is which...
Truly, though, the collection was one of our favorites of the season. We were particularly inspired by the green-gold jacket that would look completely at home on any couture runway. And that's what is so amazing about Theyskens' Theory (and oddly fitting, considering the name sounds like some sort of esoteric mathematical equation) is that there is a certain degree of technical and innovative genius behind every garment, though each and every piece still manages to look completely effortless.