2nd of October, 2022, Paris, France – Hôtel le Lièvre de la Grange is the host of another brand from the Paris Fashion Week official calendar. Olivier Theyskens presents the final part of his triptych of collections (SS 2022, AW 2022, SS2023) focused on transforming archival textiles into new materials, and looking at colour in a new way.
In this third collection, entirely handcrafted in his studio and centred on an exploration of brilliance and the colour black, the designer pursues his technical savoir-faire, led by a new selection of materials and colours which determined the outcome. The allure is architectural, there is an enduring intention of purity of the coupe and drape, of ‘tailleur’ and ‘flou’. It is one facet of the designer’s quest for new forms, both liquid and structured.
The Theyskens collection exudes an aura of transcendence: mythical, monolithic volumes meet a renewed sensuality from the patchworked and appliquéd dresses, which are imbued with new, unusual properties of drape and fall.
The opening sequence of monochrome tailored silhouettes with strong shoulders paint an imposing sand androgynous persona in leather, silk and velvet. In his hands, the fabrics become a new material, like the paintings of Pierre Soulages which transform into sculpture with each layer of paint. This persona has always been a part of the designer’s imagination and forms the counterpart of the sensual ‘égérie’ inhabiting the sinuous dresses. A long ultra black coat is made from an appliqué of discarded scraps of cut leather reassembled into an accumulation on tulle. The coat exemplifies pure composition, a sublime transformation of the raw material.
A hand-knitted bodysuit with embroidered ribcage in jet black glass droplets echoes anatomic bodysuits of Theyskens’ debuts. The silhouette contains a chiaroscuro contrast, a photographic effect of light and shadow. The glass droplets act like silver gelatine rolling off the body, or like grains of sand.
A regal dress with medieval flair in a warm camaïeu of colours breaks the monochromatic phase, opening up to a series of dyed patchworked dresses in a palette of ochre, brown, bronze, red, gold, and yellow, with touches of purple and emerald. Earthen tones collide with featherlight laces, dark devoré velvet and silk mousselines.
By sculpting and cutting the materials on the bias, the materials remain malleable and acquire new stretch properties. A dress made up of a mosaic of shimmering sequins becomes a modern version of a mystical Byzantine icon.
Small hues of metallic give way to long-sleeved, lamé patchwork dresses in silver, bronze and gold, combined with mustard velvet. A group of dresses in lace and silk, cut on the bias, are constructed with one seam that sensually coils around the body.