Paris Fashion Week is the time of big debuts: Anthony Vaccarello at Saint Laurent and Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior to name the most significant ones. But also, it kicks off with a big return. Olivier Theyskens. The designer who placed little canaries on stilettos back in 2002; the man behind iconic heel-less shoes at Nina Ricci. Prince of avant-garde, who has been sorely missed, surprised everyone when he reappeared in the season’s schedule. However, his spring-summer 2017 collection is far from fuss: intimately presented to a group of 80 editors and fashion industry friends, there were 25 looks. Both numbers seem to be unrealistically small for a fashion show in 2016 – but sometimes, it’s the quality, not quantity, that matters.
Theyskens had an occasion to refresh everybody’s memory with his cult signatures. Python leather leggings and very high heels are still his favourites; blazers with sleekly corseted waists are pure romance; elusive transparency revealed a thing or two. And the all-black colour palette (with minor splashed of red and white). Leave sultry to Olivier, as his love for women’s body is reflected in those sharp mini-dresses and intriguingly cut skirts. To a certain extend, I see some similarities between Theyskens’ latest outing of noir ready-to-wear, and Azzedine Alaia’s chic-defining fashion shows. The mood of privacy, and a kind of luxurious modesty, radiates in work of these two legendary designers. Even though they come from totally different decades, their sophisticated, and somewhat dramatic elegance never goes out of