Theory CEO Andrew Rosen has made Olivier Theyskens fans into some very happy girls. The 32-year-old Theyskens' new collection for the label will retail for over 20 percent more than the brand's main collection, but at $600 to $700, the jackets are still a fraction of what his designs once went for at Nina Ricci and Rochas. "I had been looking for a more personal project," he said at an informal presentation on the roof of the company's Gansevoort Street headquarters today. "I've found it at Theory. It's the right position in terms of quality, price."
Talking editors through the collection, he pointed out that the fabrics mostly come from Italy and Japan, while the clothes are made in America and China. The look? Belgian, with lots of sharp, imaginative tailoring. Some pieces were lingerielike, dressed in prints based on Theyskens' own paintings; and there was a wide array of denim, from high-waisted flares to cornflower blue cropped jeans specially treated to look permanently wrinkled.
Most of the blazers are designed with a triangle cut from the back of the collar. "It's what I do to mine," said Theyskens, explaining that he likes the look of jackets with shoulders shrugged forward. Hems, too, were often cut away, and shirts had splices up the side seams so they can be worn with the front tucked in and the back pulled out. The attenuated, elongated silhouettes won't look unfamiliar to those who recall Theyskens' Nina Ricci collections. The small crowd oohed and aahed especially appreciatively for a thin rib-knit sweater that left an inch or two of a model's flat stomach exposed above a floor-grazing skirt.
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