Olivier Theysken, A Cut Above

Olivier Theysken RTW 19- Fall-winter 2019 collection

Tony Glenville - DN Mag - Fashion EditorBy Tony Glenville.
Tony’s reviews

Olivier Theysken RTW 19- Fall-winter 2019 collection
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Olivier Theyskens found time to talk me through his collection at his magical new headquarters.

The Art Nouveau interiors,carved staircase and other details reminded him of Belgian Art Nouveau, and provides a very special setting for his go see appointments at collections time and for his atelier after months of searching.

Of course they only moved in three weeks ago, but it’s already lovely to be in this designers chosen atmosphere. .  used the word “modern “a great deal when we were discussing and was talking about his latest collection.

Theyskens explained how he was looking at the strong silhouette women favoured in the 1940’s when they themselves had to also be so strong. We discussed how retro tailoring can be modernistic, and again and again in our conversation the word “modern” arose. “Blade Runner” of 1982, featuring costumes by Charles Knode and  Michael Kaplan references Adrian of the 1940’s Filme Noire.

Of course in January Adrian and Alaia as an exhibition was opened, but the heart of Theyskens look is amazing construction and the spiral curve of the sleeve is simply genius as it takes a new starting point for this broad line by rounding it not squaring it.

Even the shoulder pads in the evening dresses have a strange hint of Edwardiania as much as the 1940’s in the way the rounded line curves down. The technique behind clothes can never be underestimated of ignored.

Theyskens has a tiny corselet in lace and satin which has an inner structure which is fastened before the final hooks and eyes are done up, giving perfect fit to the structure. The stiff folds of the huge skirt in pewter textured taffeta are separate to the long slender dress to which they are attached, meaning they move and work independently of the slim lines of the dress.

In the show the sliver of caramel bias cut crepe was worn with a wonderful black leather jacket, the peplum of this jacket is suspended from the empire line of the waist by straps and when this peplum is turned back it reveals a black silk satin lining stitched in rows and rows like a Savile Row suit, a splendid  secret for the wearer.

Theyskens showed me a red evening dress made in the softest very, very slightly crinckly crepe, which flickered like a flame.

The fabric was so light, and the lack of internal structure, meant the hangar and the pads weighed more than the bias cut dress with its long elegant sleeves. The collection also includes a lace especially created by Olivier Theyskens with the oldest lace manufacturers in Calais. Since 1840 Darquer have produced lace for haute couture, Pret a Porter and lingerie, now they have produced and exquisite Calais lace designed by Olivier inspired by the abstraction of butterfly wings and petals to create a motif which is surreal, delicate and beautiful.

Finally I want to talk about the suits and tailoring. From an hour glass opening silhouette whose skirt panelled out from the hips into a flare, through to the grey blurred herringbone jacket worn with a long slender black leather skirt, to the strict suit with its knife pleated skirt, this was so linear and perfectly constructed that it made my heart lift.

In a time for fashion where styling can overwhelm us, technical knowledge and true in depth fashion expertise is less evident, and especially in the day of the instant image and review, this is wonderfully reassuring.

Olivier Theyskens upholds the pedigree, heritage and language of a true designer, his passion and engagement to his craft is built on firm foundations.

Thank you so much for sharing that with me.





Olivier Theysken – Ready-to-wear 2019 collection
Paris Fashion Week 2019
Womenswear Fall 2019 collection

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