Olivier Theyskens' Theory is now Theory. It is still Theyskens'. The simplification is largely nominal: That is, Theyksens himself is and has been artistic director over the entire Theory enterprise, so rather than continue both having a Theory collection and allowing the designer a subcollection of his own, the brand opted to unify it all under one label. It's a paring down in name, but a paring down in effect, too. Under the new Theory banner, Theyskens has restrained some of the more high-fashion impulses that made TT appealing to a privileged few and—in all honesty—head-scratching to a greater many. "We're focusing on our core," Theyskens said. It is core, after all, on which Theory was founded: first, great pants, then great basics overall.

There's still a heady enough hit of capital-F fashion for anyone who cares to find it here, albeit in a milder dose. Theyskens' basics are not necessarily the ones you'd expect; he was enthusing, for example, over a fine-gauge, mock-turtleneck cropped sweater—essentially a dickey—that he said he wanted to style into every look. What's more, he's retained an affection for a slouchy, gamine theory of layering and the barest suggestion of vintage (like the weathered-looking A-line skirts in washed silk). The palette remained Belgian somber—black, white, oyster, gray—and the emphasis was on styling, but not to a fault. (Theyskens showed most looks with oversized Margiela-style belts, but took care to emphasize that they'd work just as well without.) At the more elaborate end of the spectrum, like abstract paillette-embroidered cotton/wool dresses, Theyskens seemed most in his old element. But it was the simpler pieces here that were most in line with the new—that is to say, old—theory of Theory.