Olivier Theyskens Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Paris Fashion Week

Olivier Theyskens Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Paris Fashion Week

Olivier Theyskens headed up some big-name fashion brands after launching his eponymous label in the late ’90s: Rochas, Nina Ricci, and Theory. He stepped away from the runway two years ago, and eventually came back to Paris from New York. Today marked his grand return, but he’s starting small. To get a sense of just how much of a startup operation the new Olivier Theyskens brand is, consider this: The backstage area at his Marais show was in his apartment across the street.

The 25-look collection triggered memories for those of us who’ve watched Theyskens from the beginning. The hooks and eyes on his show-opening little black leather dress and terrific boots were a nod to the iconic satin coat dress Madonna wore to the 1998 Oscars circa Evita; the corseted finale gown with a bow-embroidered train, a callback to the beautiful evening dresses he made at Rochas. In between, he showed a couple of numbers with the drippy bias cutting he made his signature at Ricci. Afterward, Theyskens called it “a return to fundamentals.” Not just his personal design fundamentals, but also wardrobe fundamentals such as an elegant trench in a black and white micro check or a faultlessly tailored version of le smoking. Theyskens spent about 4 years at Theory, and if he learned anything there, it was the primacy of the customer: her real desires and needs. Romantic was a word that was often associated with his work, back when it was suggestive of his flights of imagination. Now he seems just as interested in romancing the everyday.

It might not have been as transporting as some of his earlier shows, but the prevailing sentiment as guests made their way past Theyskens at the entrance was one of genuine pleasure at having him back.

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