OLIVIER THEYSKENS F/W’22
For the second act of Olivier Theyskens’ new aesthetic direction, he presents a collection of 26 silhouettes in the grand signature foyer of the Palais Chaillot and its Théâtre National de la Danse, a modern type of classical architecture with Art Deco allure, setting the tone for a collection which merges sleek lines with handcrafted textures.
In a tribute to the elegance of the 1930’s, most dresses are cut on the bias, made of mousseline changeante, transparent organza, chiffon and tulle. An enchanting white silk dress with integrated scarf directly references Theyskens’ previous collections of minimalist poetry (A/W 2001). The lines are refined, graphic, sometimes even monastic, but always remain elegant and light. New typologies of garments make their entrance in the collection such as the cape, the tailleur, trousers and the guêpière. Bustier dresses are paired with woolen cardigans.
Employing a similar hand-crafted patchworking technique, dyeing and creasing method as for his Spring/ Summer 2022 collection, Theyskens continues in a spirit of constancy and consonance, like a painter who works on a fresco over several years. Reworking his personal collection of precious vintage fabrics into a similar, yet more hibernal palette, contrasted with the nude tones and vivid ruddy strokes reminiscent of Egon Schiele’s aquarelles. Sleeves and seams widen towards the bottom; the attitude is fluid. The darker hued collection glistens with touches of iridescent fabrics and transparent lace; earthen, mineral tones alternate with an aquatic, submarine universe.
‘A black knitted bodysuit is encrusted with black glass pearls and crystals, as if scintillating with drops of water. Echoing the early Theyskens bodysuits, the silhouette suggests an android creature.’ – Olivier Theyskens
A dark gray dress in cloudy mousseline with a cape attached to the back conjures up a dignified, ethereal presence. A pair of dresses carry pigmented traces resembling the cascading branches of a stream, one, a poisonous purple and black velvet changeant, the other in fine mousseline de soie in nude and black tones. The precious organic patterns stem from a dyeing process whereby the fabric has been mixed with another color-absorbing fabric. A testimony of the designer’s experimental practice, the objects exude a singular sense of artistry.
If the previous collection was the discovery of a new technique, this collection contains its mastery. Olivier Theyskens continued the atelier work and created the patchwork compositions from scratch, choosing to combine those fabrics who would give the most souplesse when cut and draped on the bias, with the best fall on the body.
The designer’s long standing obsession for women’s tailoring finds its form in a perfectly cut smoking in silk wool. Cloqué satin stretch trousers are accompanied by sheer jackets in creased mousseline, in a quest for the purest expression.
As a finishing touch, the compelling silhouettes are completed with medallion pendants in ochre metal, with poured melted glass drops running through it, made in collaboration with Ariel de Ravenel for Loulou de la Falaise.
Article: Olivier Theyskens
Photography: Claessens / Duchamp