Grunge for Spring/Summer? Hell yeah.
[All images via Style.com].
I am a little bit in love with Olivier Theyskens, even though he used to make demi-couture gowns that cost more than my combined university fees. There's something about his clothing that puts up two fingers to the doubters and makes you feel powerful (I assume - it's not like I have a secret stash of Theyskens' Theory in my room, though it would be a nice thought). Unlike the try-hard grunge look that seems distinctly pre-fabricated, this is genuine insouciance and you can tell that he's enjoyed crafting each piece, regardless of its reception.
The top and trousers in the centre remind me mostly of grass stains, as if the wearer had spent long enough rolling down hills and scuffing her clothes to inadvertently create a look. Meanwhile the sheath dress on the right could have been sewn from a satin nightdress with a black voile thrown over the top in a last-ditch attempt to look presentable after a night on the tiles. Turning to the evening gown on the left, you can see it's made for putting your hands on your hips and into those pockets - not for being a wallflower.
For those times when you feel a little bit different and don't want to chuck on jeans.
There was definitely an element of second glances in this collection, most notably in the ever-so-sheer demure-looking dress that flashes bright white underwear beneath this season's peplum. Similarly, but with less potential to offend the elderly, the blue house coat in the centre seems quite girly with its A-line shape, yet a closer look reveals that it's actually more like an oilskin men's jacket, but given an unusual cut, then thrown over a leather dress to give a mash-up of textures. Lastly, the beautifully sculptural maxi dress on the right is toughened up by embellishment and that stern pout from the model - you get the feeling she might have a knuckleduster on.
Don't just go for the 'boyfriend' look as a phase - take that old jumper or suit jacket and wear it to death.
Boyish went for more of a grandad edge with chunky charcoal jumpers, elegantly cut jackets that verged on the masculine, and some deep v-necks that revealed gaping chests rather than ample cleavage. Those shiny black trousers on the left are perhaps a hard act to follow on the high street, with potential echoes of MC Hammer, but you can bet that fashion industry insiders will be clamouring to be shot in them by the likes of Scott Schuman and Tommy Ton.
As a parting note, everything gets bleached as the grunge kids draw back the curtains.
I wanted to end with more of the pure white Theyskens' Theory pieces, as they're so dazzling and might initially seem to go against the grungy aesthetic of the rest. Again, on a double take they seem a little less innocent. That white suit with those serious black boots gives a hint of A Clockwork Orange, whilst the baggy coat and silvery hair makes an otherwise simple, if short, shift dress seem like the choice of a post-gig rock star. The soft thigh-skimming jacket on the right is also fairly indecently short, but there's barely a hint of anything underneath (look away, middle America!).
I can't get enough of this collection; there's so much fun behind the separates and they'd all add something to your wardrobe. Olivier Theyskens is a constant source of inspiration for me and I get the feeling he'll be lining the pockets of a few of our high street stores when they get creating copycat designs. Not naming any names, but you might want to head to Zara, Mango and COS to try and replicate the great man on a more budget-friendly scale...