March 03, 2007 Paris
So to begin with, Theyskens focused on teardrop-shaped down-filled blousons, twisted sweater dresses, and diagonally zipped biker jackets that fell open in soft, petal-like folds. If there was a discernible Nina Ricci reference, it was in the spiraling cuts reminiscent of the crystal flacons of the classic Ricci L'Air du Temps perfume bottle. What with the palette of pearl gray, slate, and charcoal, and the introduction of denim, the collection fell somewhere in the range of Rick Owens, the L.A. designer whose clothes have a link to Belgian streetwise aesthetics.
That, of course, is no coincidence: Theyskens is himself a Belgian designer who, before his tenure at Rochas, made an impact, at the age of 21, with strong, dark collections that electrified fashion in the late nineties. His mood now is far more etherealthe downy feathers floating from the girls' hair established that quite beautifully. Nevertheless, two soft but fiercely cut pantsuits served as a reminder of the tailoring talent that remained latent while he concentrated on femininity at Rochas. Excellent as those were, they added to the tension that hovered over the collection. Theyskens laid on an irresistible finale of trail-y, ragged-edged white and chartreuse fantasy gowns, but still, the question about where he intends to take Ricci was left in the air.