Belgian-born Olivier Theyskens burst onto the fashion scene in 1998 when he dressed Madonna in a black satin coat dress from his first collection for the Academy Awards. After stints at Rochas and Nina Ricci that didn't stick (Theyskens' ultra-expensive clothes for these two labels, while favored by critics, never sold particularly well) the designer has landed at Theory.
Theyskens might finally have found his footing at a label best known for being the go-to brand for professional women looking for a suit and casual basics. Theyskens' first collection for Theory for spring tops out just under $1,000 and has already been a retail hit. Fall 2011 marked the first time the designer staged a full on runway show for his special collection for the brand (Theyskens is also Artistic Director of Theory as a whole).
This season Theyskens showed Kimono jackets, slouchy trousers and micro-print chiffon maxis--all sure to fly off of the shelves. Goth undertones came in the form of sheer black chiffon dropped waist dresses and a dark color palette of charcoal, grey, black, smoke and pewter. Theyskens played with velvet, tweed, wool, chiffon and lacquered silks this season, which added a great dimension to the collection.
After the show, Theyskens called the collection "accessible." Who knew a designer that up until now was best known for making gowns priced upwards of $20,000 would have such a firm grasp on that concept.