Designing fashion
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A minimal silhouette

Minimal silhouette - Olivier Theyskens

Fashion is fickle – no doubt about that! It’s only two days ago that I made a point about how a fashion collection must have a strong and novel silhouette in order to be exciting (read more about that here) that I find myself falling in love with collections with a minimal silhouette that is very straightforward. So how can that be?

Because in fashion there really aren’t any rules, and in the minute you give a guideline of how to make something work, it’s proven that it can be done otherwise. It’s anything but German grammar, where a rule is a rule – no exception. In fashion sometimes it just works, because… yeah, well, it just works.

This can make fashion hard to teach, and it can make it hard to comprehend for outsiders. That’s probably also one of the reasons, why a fashion designer’s finest asset is his or her ability to see the world in a unique way and trust ones own intuition.

A couple of days ago, I got really excited about the latest Olivier Theysken’s collection. As a review said, it really is great to have him back with his own label after a 14-year pause, where he worked for some of the most renowned fashion houses like Rochas, Nina Ricci and Theory. Afterwards, like many other big creative directors, he had to take a break from the fashion frenzy and just reconnect. So in this first collection of his – Oliver Theyskens 2.0 – the silhouette was very straightforward. No surprises, no drama, no novelty, no experimentation actually – just a beautiful, minimal silhouette. Or perhaps actually a lot of experimentation behind the stringent final result.

Olivier Theyskens ss17

People may have a different opinion about the success, or lack of it, but I ‘bought into it’. And I didn’t only buy into it – I loved it! These are big words, but that’s how I felt.

To me, it didn’t feel straightforward in a boring way. It felt straightforward in an honest and authentic way. There was something natural about the work, almost poetry. That can be hard to resist, because this authenticity resonates in a fashion world full of fun, drama, eccentricity and so on. There were hints of couture among the everyday styles, and the girls looked just the right kind of modern with their washed faces, straight hair and minimalistic expression.

There were loads of black, which again just felt so right and fresh, as if we had seen the colour for the first time. It was a dark black, but also a subtle black – just the right black.

So, what do we take with us from here? Well, that it can be very hard to put a finger on how to make something work. Making a fashion collection is a complex process with many different elements. It’s a bit like cooking with a number of ingredients; sometimes it’s a rich Indian dish with a zillion spices, and sometimes it’s a simple Italian dish. Both can be equally impactful.

The lack of distraction creates a really strong impact, and the word that comes to mind is minimalism. That has been relevant for decades and continues to be. It’s especially popular with people, who have seen a lot over the years, and who feels like ‘cutting to the bone’ and experiencing essential things. Of course, also minimal varies over time; how it’s interpreted, lived and worn, and this time, Theyskens got it just so right.

Good to have you back!

See the full collection here.

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