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August 23 2014

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70 posts tagged "Nicolas Ghesquiere"

Runway to Red Carpet: Celebs Embrace “Summer Blacks,” and Three New Trendsetters

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080914_Runway_To_Red_Carpet-blogIf you haven’t heard yet, “summer blacks” (©Style.com) are in. Not only has the tried-and-true trend cropped up in the streets, the recent Resort collections, and the Style.com office, but it’s also been making frequent appearances on the red carpet. A glowing Rosamund Pike, who’s pregnant with her second child, chose a black, one-shouldered pleated Prada baby-doll dress for the Berlin premiere of Hector and the Search for Happiness on Tuesday. Heidi Klum rocked a shimmering, form-fitting Roberto Cavalli LBD for Wednesday’s America’s Got Talent postshow event in New York. And the next day, Marion Cotillard took to the red carpet in a black wool Dior dress from the Fall ’14 runway at the London premiere of Two Days, One Night.

While a lot of celebs played it safe this week and stuck to trusty styles that couldn’t fail, a trio of relatively unknown ladies caught our eye. They might not be household names just yet, but these fresh faces piqued our interest with standout styles. On Monday, What If actress Mackenzie Davis stepped out in a look from Nicolas Ghesquiè
re’s Fall ’14 Louis Vuitton collection for the film’s New York premiere. Elsewhere in the city, Charlotte Le Bon posed on the red carpet in a sheer, lace-paneled white frock from red-carpet favorite Elie Saab’s Pre-Fall ’14 lineup at Monday night’s premiere of her new film, The Hundred-Foot Journey. The following evening, Hannah Tointon turned heads in a pale pink satin Spring ’14 Prabal Gurung sheath at the world premiere of The Inbetweeners 2 in London. Needless to say, these Hollywood freshmen are off to a promising start. We’ll be watching, ladies.

Here, all of this week’s red-carpet highlights.

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

EXCLUSIVE: First Look at Louis Vuitton’s Fall Campaign by Annie Leibovitz, Bruce Weber, and Juergen Teller

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Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton

Naturally, we expected big things from Nicolas’ Ghesquière’s first Louis Vuitton campaign. And as is so often the case, the designer did not disappoint. Ghesquière enlisted not one, not two, but three iconic photographers—Annie Leibovitz, Bruce Weber, and Juergen Teller (who, if you’ll remember, also lensed Vuitton’s Fall and Resort lookbooks)—to shoot his Fall ’14 ads, which he dubbed “Series 1.” The snaps star Charlotte Gainsbourg (Ghesquière’s longtime muse), Liya Kedebe, Freja Beha Erichsen (the Fall ’14 show opener), and Jean Campbell.

The three photographers were given a brief of “classic beauty meeting creative innovation.” Though each approached the task in his or her own way, the images work together to build a fluid, cohesive story. Debuting exclusively here is a behind-the-scenes film of Gainsbourg’s shoot with Leibovitz, set to the tunes of the model’s own music. The short illustrates not only the essence of the collection, but the wearability of Ghesquiere’s first garments for the house. And who better to showcase Ghesquière’s modern French clothes than a quintessentially French femme like Gainsbourg? Have a look at the chanteuse posing in Vuitton’s Fall ’14 wares, above.

Photos: Annie Leibovitz and Juergen Teller for Louis Vuitton

Resort ’15: Highs and Polos

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poloWhether or not you live according to The Official Preppy Handbook or have strong opinions about popped collars, if you’ve been following the Resort collections, you’ll recognize that designers are championing polos in a major way. Of course, the ones they’re showing are anything but basic. Jason Wu paired a clingy knit style with a slit pencil skirt to sexy effect, while Derek Lam riffed on the sporty staple by adding military-inspired epaulets at the shoulders. A pair of sunny yellow piqué looks turned up at Reed Krakoff and Band of Outsiders, and Nicolas Ghesquière sent a flashy lamé version down his Louis Vuitton Cruise runway. Polos are turning up in the streets, too, on tastemakers like David Beckham and Rihanna, who was spotted courtside at a Clippers basketball game in Céline’s ribbed Spring ’14 dress. Take it from RiRi, you can and should mess with a classic.


Here, a slideshow of stylish polos.

Karl Lagerfeld, Cindy Sherman, and More Collaborate With Louis Vuitton

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Karl raf

An LV punching bag by Karl Lagerfeld? Why not! Today, WWD reports that Nicolas Ghesquière and Delphine Arnault are launching a new project, The Icon and the Iconoclasts, in which six heavy-hitting creatives will put their own spin on monogrammed bags and luggage. The designers, artists, and architects include Lagerfeld (who is, in fact, producing a punching bag), Cindy Sherman, Rei Kawakubo, Christian Louboutin, Frank Gehry, and Marc Newson.

The project instantly calls to mind the collaborations Marc Jacobs championed during his tenure at Vuitton: Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, and Yayoi Kusama all interpreted the LV monogram in a unique way. But Ghesquière’s take brings Vuitton’s team-ups to a whole new level.

Images won’t be revealed until later this fall and prices will range between $2,725 and $5,450. That’s a pretty penny, but considering the bags will be available only for a few months, we’re thinking they qualify as the ultimate splurge.

Photo: Getty Images