[All images taken from Style.com].
Let's cut to the chase: I'm going to start with the good bits, especially as I'm always so excited to see what Olivier Theyskens comes up with for Theory. His own personal style is a mixture of sleek, straight hair and baggy or draped clothing, and you'll often see this combination in his designs for women, though there is a lot more emphasis on the former. The stone dress above caught my eye because it seemed so historical, like a combination of Victorian feminine dressing and Little House on the Prairie frontier-style practicality.
Outfit #2 from my shortlist is a more traditional Theyskens approach, with a rock vibe seeping through in the dirty gold sequinned jacket, the slouch-fit trousers and the patterned charcoal t-shirt. This doesn't feel like the same target female as the stone dress; this woman is comfortable with adding a more masculine edge to her look, and she doesn't need everything to be neatly finished and tucked in.
I can totally see this dress being adopted on the red carpet. The unusual neckline means that the mainstream press will probably stick the unsuspecting celebrity in the 'Worst Dressed' category, but I don't feel the need. It's little details like this that freshen things up in fashion, and stop a plain dress being, well, plain.
My favourite look from the show was this simple but effective sharp jacket, that seems to mould its way around the body like armour, with a flimsy skirt that has the consistency of tissue paper. It's a really interesting contrast, with so much protection focused around the torso and the legs completely exposed.
Another piece that's sure to make it into fashion editorials and the wardrobes of celebrities is this ethereal off-white dress. The high neck and fishtail base make for an overly covered form, but the sheer layers look as fine as smoke in certain places. It's elegant and doesn't expose any flesh, but it still manages to be exciting and not as conservative as you might think.
This is the last of the stunning moments from the collection. It's another dazzling piece that is classy and daring at the same time, worn simply with loose hair and smoke grey heels. Look away now if you don't want to see what else Olivier Theyskens added to the mix, because it's going to be pretty frustrating.
I know that he's a master at tailoring and cutting around the female form, but this outfit is hardly groundbreaking. It reminds me of synthetic suits that you'd buy in bargain basements circa 2000-2005 - the ones that were well shaped but felt really strange and smelt a bit funny. I know that this version would set you back a ridiculous amount of money, but it just doesn't add enough interest. The shape you see here is only so exaggerated because of the model's thin figure, but on your average UK size 10-16 woman you would struggle to justify the price, because so much of the lengthening effect would be lost. Those flares would drown a girl, and the jacket would pull against an average UK bust. It doesn't work for me as an exciting or flattering look and I don't feel it's made for real women. I know that Ready to Wear isn't made for the high street, but it should be more realistic than Couture in terms of the modern woman's figure.
Another misguided attempt, the cream coat looks like something straight out of a Middleton sister's wardrobe. Meanwhile the gold pencil skirt and off-gold top are a little bit like a mid-life crisis moment, with a desperate attempt to draw attention to something, but it ends up being your ankles rather than anything remotely flirtatious (yep, the ankles were last seen as a scandalous body part pre-WWI).
Okay, enough of the designer-bashing. I want to end with a decent everyday piece that straddles the line between the beautiful event gowns and the cool slouchy trousers with a metallic tinge. Enter the burned olive playsuit (or shorts and shirt - I'll admit, it's very hard to tell from the catwalk image). This is the blend of hiding and revealing flesh, without the formality of a dress. It's the way that the rock goddess from my second image could have a meeting of minds with the prairie girl from the first shot. It's wearable, slightly flirtatious, and it's really flattering. This is what we need to see more of; attention to detail that can work for different body shapes, and not just one. We want to see intuitive design, not the reinvention of the wheel with a cream coat.