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September 3 2014

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23 posts tagged "Neiman Marcus"

Free Agent: How Bankable Is Olivier Theyskens Post-Theory?

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Olivier TheyskensFashion loves a comeback, and since Olivier Theyskens parted ways with Theory, the contemporary American sportswear brand, back in June, industry insiders have been plotting his. Is the 37-year-old Belgian designer being considered for a role at Oscar de la Renta, as has been whispered in New York? Could Milan be an option? Sources say he has taken meetings in the Italian city this summer. Or will he return to Paris, where he enjoyed editorial accolades as the creative director at both Rochas and Nina Ricci?

Tastemakers began falling for Theyskens back in the late ’90s, when he dressed Madonna in haute gothic style for the Oscars. With a reputation burnished by stints at Rochas and Nina Ricci, he was an unlikely fit for Theory, a brand built on stretch pants, but his show quickly became one of New York fashion week’s must-sees. Approval ratings started out strong; there was excitement about scoring clothes with the designer’s famous name on the label without dropping four figures. Over time, however, the reviews became more skeptical. In February, Theyskens presented a Fall ’14 Theory show without his name attached, and four months later the brand and Theyskens severed ties. As it stands now, the designer’s track record is one of ups and downs. Does that jeopardize his prospects? Or could the fact that he has experience across different continents and different markets count as an asset? Now that Theyskens is a free agent, Style.com spoke to fashion influencers about his future.

As he dusts off his résumé, Theyskens is looking at a shifting designer landscape. LVMH and Kering are currently signing on designers both younger and greener than he is. LVMH crowned Jonathan Anderson creative director of Loewe at 29. Christopher Kane and Joseph Altuzarra were 31 and 30, respectively, when Kering made its investment in their burgeoning brands. Yes, Nicolas Ghesquière, at 43 and newly installed at Louis Vuitton, is older than Theyskens, but Ghesquière’s Balenciaga tenure was longer and more successful than Theyskens’ Paris gigs. The other trend he could be contending with: Brands are hiring relative unknowns. See Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski, recently hired away from The Row to replace Christophe Lemaire at Hermès, and Julie de Libran, the new woman helming Sonia Rykiel.

Insiders don’t see things quite so dimly and are hopeful that he will find
the right match this time.

“Olivier has a great design sensibility. At a time when many things look like other things, he really stays true to himself—that’s what I respect,” says Ken Downing, fashion director and senior vice president of Neiman Marcus. “I think if there were an opportunity in New York, it would be great for him,” he continues. “It’s not so much about location on the map as it is about a house that will understand his talent.”

Nina Ricci and Rochas

Magali Ginsburg, head of buying & category management for The Corner, which sold Theyskens’ Theory “very well,” sees the designer as “the perfect candidate for a house,” especially because “he [is one of] those designers who when they come on board bring with them a more and more savvy crew of customer followers,” ultimately raising a house’s international reputation.

If not a position at an established house, why not his own label? “I know there are a lot of people who said he wasn’t commercially successful, but I was at Barneys and we sold it,” says Julie Gilhart, now a freelance fashion consultant. “He had a following, and it wasn’t the Nina Ricci or the Rochas customer, it was the Olivier customer,” Gilhart continues. “I’ve always thought that Olivier could do his own thing. When I met him, that’s what he was doing, his own thing. It’s what I want to see for him. He’s one of the great designers.”

As a designer accustomed to the machinery of a big brand behind him, starting out on his own could be daunting. But here in New York, Theyskens has watched other designers—Jason Wu, Prabal Gurung—launch careers by putting red-carpet dresses on the backs of celebrities. And anyone who remembers Irving Penn’s portrait of Nicole Kidman in Rochas knows that Theyskens makes a sublime gown. If he were designing at that level again, Kidman and co. would presumably line up to wear him.

theyskens theory

Still, even with A-list endorsements, it can take a decade for a brand to come into its own, and even then it cannot live on eveningwear alone. Wu has branched out into accessories; Gurung counts knitwear among his biggest developing categories. This is where Theyskens’ experience at Theory could pay off, the thinking being that his design vocabulary is much broader than when he arrived in New York four years ago. And his comfort level with everyday is a lot broader now than it was when he arrived. “It broadened his range,” says Neiman’s Downing. “As we all know, he loves couture and does superlative evening pieces. Theory opened up a new vocabulary about sportswear, and living in New York was good for him to see how people on this side of the pond live, dress, and work. It’s a different sensibility than in Europe.”

Anne Slowey, Elle‘s fashion features director, says, “I like what he did for Theory—there is a place for luxury normcore. But I don’t know if it was right for the brand. Unfortunately, Olivier has been miscast all along the way. He’s either too ahead of his time or too far out in left field. Eventually fashion will catch up with him.”

With the industry firmly behind Theyskens—unlike, say, John Galliano, who, since leaving Dior amid a hate-speech scandal, has received support from some influential corners but has yet to redeem himself in the eyes of American retailers—he’s got a good chance of scoring a new gig. But even if he doesn’t land a job quickly, Theyskens isn’t about to fade from fashion’s collective memory bank anytime soon. An Olivier Saillard-curated exhibition set to open at the Palais de la Porte Dorée in December will feature a dress from one of the designer’s earliest signature collections. For now, there’s the virtual museum that is Instagram. #oliviertheyskens.

Photos: IndigitalImages.com; GoRunway.com

Shop the Look: La Vie En Rose

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Shop the Look: Pink Neiman Marcus

In case you missed it, pink is having a major moment this year. We fell in love with the bold pops of fuchsia at Alexander Wang, Thakoon, and dozens more Fall ’14 shows, and off the runway, we lost track of how many girls sported pastel pink coats and rosy accessories. In our book, pink looks pretty all year round. This spring, we’ll be wearing the hue head-to-toe for a sweet-meets-sophisticated look—e.g., a bubblegum jumpsuit with patent kitten heels—or in small doses with a flushed lip or translucent sunnies. Shop our favorite pink pieces from Valentino, Ray-Ban, Catherine Malandrino, and more, below.

 

1. Catherine Malandrino Favorites Strapless Silk Jumpsuit, $425, available at neimanmarcus.com

2. Ray-Ban Ice Pop Sunglasses in Pink, $160, available at neimanmarcus.com

3. Sisley Paris Phyto-Lip Twist in Baby, $50, available at neimanmarcus.com

4. Oscar de la Renta Bold Pear-Shaped Drop Clip-On Earrings in Sorbet, $295, available at neimanmarcus.com

5. Valentino Rockstud Patent Low-Heel Slingback in Pink, $945, available at neimanmarcus.com

Photos: Courtesy of Neiman Marcus

 

Michelle Campbell: From TV Hooker to Jewelry Darling

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Campbell

California native Michelle Campbell Mason was an actress and model in a previous life—her first break was on CSI, as a hooker with good intentions who meets a gruesome fate. (“My parents loved that one,” she laughed.)

Things slowed down at one point, Mason said, and she started to lose it. But after inheriting a bunch of jewelry from her grandmother, she picked up a pencil and began to sketch. “They were a little too antique to wear, so I wanted to create something that would complement them, something a little more clean and to the point,” she explains.

Three years on, Campbell’s floating rings and major cuffs have made waves everywhere from Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus to Shopbop.com. This fall, Campbell is taking her first step into fine jewelry with a collection that builds on her signature floaty, classic modernism. Her massive honeycomb cuff was the inspiration for a number of new styles, while a darker-than-usual theme in black and white diamonds on white gold conveys an ongoing fascination with architecture, particularly what she finds in her new home base, New York. “This is meant to play off the contemporary [pieces],” she noted. “We all wear fine jewelry—just not by itself. It’s really clean, easy to pile on and layer,” she explained. And that, in a nutshell, is how crime TV’s loss became fashion’s gain.

Photo: Courtesy Photo

Wilfredo Rosado Fall 2013

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Label: Wilfredo Rosado

Need to Know: After years of working with Giorgio Armani, Wilfredo Rosado realized his dream was to launch his own fine jewelry collection. And in 2011, he did just that. Top international retailers like Bergdorf Goodman and Lane Crawford quickly snatched up his unique pieces. His cameos were an instant success, Gwyneth Paltrow wore his pink feather and diamond earrings to the 2011 Grammys, and ever since debuting his first collection, editors and buyers alike have championed his extravagant, eccentric take on diamonds.

When asked about his Fall ’13 collection, Rosado told Style.com that he has always been a fan of the Smoke series of burned furniture by the Dutch designer Maarten Baas. He’s fascinated by the idea of creating high-luxury pieces and treating them as common, non-precious objects. You can’t get much more precious than 18-karat gold set with sapphires, diamonds, and emeralds. But for Fall, Rosado inlaid his decadent wares with burned wood. He tells us they’re meant to be worn as everyday accessories.

He Says: “Should I call this collection ‘HOT’? I just want women—or men, for that matter—to look and feel cool wearing it, without feeling like they’re wearing the family jewels!”

Where to Find It: Bergdorf Goodman, Just One Eye, Neiman Marcus

Dear Santa, Please Bring Me…A Very Long Letter?

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Last night’s annual tree-lighting at Rockefeller Center was a mob scene, but it wasn’t the evening’s only throng. Just down the street, shoppers, designers, and fashion fixtures like Kate Bosworth, Prabal Gurung and Karlie Kloss came together to toast the launch of Target, Neiman Marcus, and the CFDA’s collaborative holiday collection—and to do a little pre-shopping. A set of highball glasses designed by Joseph Altuzarra, and Christmas ornaments by Jason Wu seemed to be particularly hot-ticket items, and some designers appeared to have had their own lists in mind when creating their items: Both the duos behind Marchesa and Rag & Bone made outfits for their children. But what were they hoping for themselves? Click here for a slideshow of shoppers roaming the racks, and read on below to find out who’s stockpiling Jet-Set Travel and Peruvian liquor, and who’s hoping to find a Ferrari parked under their tree. Continue Reading “Dear Santa, Please Bring Me…A Very Long Letter?” »