Buggers, I totally forgot that I received an email telling me that Olivier Theyskens will be in London to sign his book 'The Other Side of the Picture' at Liberty London today. I would have loved to meet the man who reminds me of a beautiful Jesus (isn't this picture so Caravaggio-esque? I would really like to know by whom it is) and who came up with some amazing creations, both for Rochas and for Nina Ricci.Olivier Theyskens was born in Brussels (another Belgian genius? How come this country seems to breed incredible designers a la Dries van Noten or Ann Demeulemeester?!) According to Wiki he would really rather have been a girl because 'girls got to be princesses and wear skirts'. Although he had dropped out of design school at 20 he was made artistic director of the fashion house Rochas just aged 25 (Sarah Mower called his first collection for Rochas 'nothing short of magnificent'). In 2006, not even 30 years old, he became artistic director of Nina Ricci where his couture-like creations were reverred and worn by celebrities (actually Madonna had worn one of his designs already in 1997 to the Oscars); but his ideal of 'stopping global vulgarity' by concentrating on the art of designing clothes, 'neglecting' advertising and not succumbing to cheap accessory lines finally led to the end of his tenure.
At €100/$120 (but I think it’s cheaper at amazon) the book isn’t exactly a bargain. But Julien Claessens' photography really is beautiful. If you want to have a look (for free) you can do this here.
Olivier Theyskens 'The Other Side of the Picture'. Photography by Julien Claessens, Text by Sally Singer. Publisher Assouline
Source: Rochas RTW Fall 2003, from here