Olivier Theyskens | Fall-winter 19-20 Paris fashion week
Since landing back on the Paris calendar a couple of years ago, Olivier Theyskens’s shows have toggled between the high drama of his Rochas years and the day-to-day clothes he worked on at Theory. The diversity has apparently served him well. He has 45 stores worldwide, a number he says he’s content with.
Today he made a commitment to drama. “It comes from a vision of the work of couturiers,” Theyskens said afterward, “but also a little nod to Blade Runner. You know, this is 2019, the year the movie was set in.” The designer played the music from the film backward, and he conjured the replicant Rachael’s formfitting skirtsuit alongside other attenuated silhouettes made in her likeness. Theyskens called it “retro-futurism.” Ridley Scott’s circa 1982 vision of 2019 was off the mark in some respects and spot-on in others. We don’t drive flying cars just yet, but we do talk to our computers, and the global climate is most definitely in crisis. On the fashion front, tailoring is experiencing a renaissance, and Theyskens’s extreme sculpted shoulders put him in the middle of that conversation.
There was an almost replicant-like rigor to the suit jackets and narrow midi skirts, but Theyskens indicated that it was intentional. “It’s about the power of a great entrance,” he said. The comment triggered an image of an actress of stature wearing the black or silver five-button, single-breasted style on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival or Venice. Bias-cut silk-satin evening dresses had an Old Hollywood glamour of their own, with plunging décolletage.
To end, Theyskens did a little channeling of his own archive. Twenty years ago, at 21, he created a pair of ball gowns with similar hook-and-eye embellishments. Madonna wore one to the VH1 Fashion Awards and set the young designer on his way. In that sense, this was a return to form.
World Fashion Channel