"I wanted everything to feel really essential," Olivier Theyskens said, discussing his collection for pre-fall. Where Theyskens is concerned, though, essential doesn't mean basic. His Theory collection is built on wardrobe fundamentals—jeans, knits, leather, etc.—but elevated. Denim got treated to "wild" washes; his jeans looked like they'd spent some time in a tub full of bleach. And leather jackets came in a variety of weights, from the buttery soft to motorcycle-tough.

Theyskens was operating without a theme, but he did say that some pictures of Northern England had gotten him thinking about plaid—a timely development with Karl Lagerfeld's ode to all things Scottish at Chanel. A tartan trench had a crisp look that felt slightly new. In past seasons at TT, slouch ruled. Along similarly pulled-together lines, the designer's big idea for pre-fall was the notion of a "total look": An elongated, squared-off jacket was shown with ankle-cropped trousers, and on top of both was a peplumlike basque that could function as a miniskirt on its own. In another look, he paired a poplin shirtdress, which could likewise fly solo, with a longer A-line skirt on top. Ultimately, the most multifunctional pieces were probably the simplest, like a pair of baggy black leather pants or that plaid trench.