Sunday, November 29, 2009

Designers I Respect: Olivier Theyskens

Well, that title might provokes a lot of reaction. Pleas bear in mind that I have a lot of respects for other designers as well, here in Indonesia, the famous ones in Paris, Milan, and New York, and also other young designers in a lot of other countries, climbing their ladder of fame.

I guess this is just the kind of post to show my respect to the designers that have inspired me, and which I am a big fan of.

One of the earliest memory of a designer that made me fall in love was Olivier Theyskens, who back then was working for Rochas.

Olivier Theyskens and Anna Wintour

His first collection that I saw was Rochas Spring 2005 (which means it was probably late 2004). And I have never heard his name before (or even Rochas for that matter), being a small town boy that I was.
Back then, I was shallow enough not to do research, so I'm only used to the style of Giorgio Armani, Versace, Christian Dior, Gucci, or Chanel, because they were the big player. But it was Theyskens that made me "discover" these other historical labels that were not only apparently have stronger designs, but also back then, shaped the face of fashion!

Olivier Theyskens for Rochas brought something that didn't exist in my book before, elegance and luxury without over-designing and over embellished, which quite honestly even most Indonesian designers still can't do without.
This was the look that blew my mind:

It was elegant yet simple, it was feminine yet with strong silhouette, something completely new for me. And then and there I thought... This is how one should design an evening gown!

In Fall 2005 collection Theyskens taught me something else... Something that he was known for:
Demi-couture and poetry in design:

The most gorgeous dress of the season I think. He's so creative and so poetic. How he can stir the emotion of the people watching his show (I couldn't imagine what would it do to the person wearing it!) is totally amazing! Brilliant!

But then, after his show for Rochas Fall 2006, a news broke in that Olivier Theyskens is leaving Rochas. I was left heartbroken. I remembered exactly when I read the news in my apartment in Beijing. But the sad news followed with a pleasant surprise that he's joining Nina Ricci!! Couldn't find a better fit for the house!

Lars Nilsson's shoes were big to fill, but somehow, Theyskens made even more of an impact at Ricci than he ever did at Rochas. His debut collection was an ethereal poetry in motion, moving Nina Ricci up to the list of the fashion house to watch that season. Not to mention he's now aiming for a younger market, but not to loose that couture quality.

His other collection for Nina Ricci that needed to be noted was Fall 2008. Literally was one of the strongest shows in the world that season. And directing the color trend of that season, which was an amazing thing for a fashion designer to make such an influence. I would describe it as Autumn leaves colors.

But sad news struck again. News broke in that Fall 2009 would've been Theyskens last season at the house of Nina Ricci. Another short tenure for him. Well he proved that the management would now just bite the dust with his last collection that was the most amazing, ferocious, strong, elegant, and out of this world! Creating clothes that were sensational, as well as accessories that were in everyone's mouth that season:

I am so sorry, but that shoe is f*cking awesome!

I haven't heard of Theyskens anymore since he's left Nina Ricci. But I'm sure he's out there somewhere, getting offers from major Haute Couture houses to kick ass yet again.

And until then, I heart you Theyskens!

(pictures from and

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