June 15, 2008
He may be a dyed-in-the-wool romantic, but what sets Olivier Theyskens apart is his talent for finessing nostalgia to make it wholly new. After his presentation, the designer said he had wanted to re-create something old-fashioned in "a cool, urban way for a modern girl." He achieved that by updating the countryside staple of granny cardi over floral dress: His thickly cabled knits hung just so over dresses and blouses with curving seams in subtle Liberty-esque prints (emphasis on the "esque": These were not florals, but rather abstract patterns inspired by petrol stains and broken china). Elsewhere, the designer infused denim with refinement, using a linen blend and cutting it into an elegant skirtsuit and trench. For evening, there were Theyskens' classicsa cloud-gray satin tuxedo, an acid green gown with snaking rufflesbut he also brought Victoriana into 2008, showing constructed, lean gowns with matching "boyfriend" jackets. Who said that romance is dead?