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In Olivier Theyskens’ studio: meeting with an inspired fashion designer

Olivier Theyskens recently presented his Spring-Summer 2021 ready-to-wear collection digitally for his eponymous brand. Paying homage to Mylène Farmer, the pieces in this collection – lavaliere shirts, long black dresses with volume, corsets, houndstooth jackets and pants – illustrate the technical virtuosity of this Belgian designer and are in perfect harmony with the neo-romantic style and the sensual silhouettes that have made his signature style. Earlier in July, the designer also designed his first collection for Azzaro, following his appointment as the house’s artistic director in February 2020. At 43, the Belgian designer is a busy man.  

A former student of La Cambre in Brussels, the couturier already has a vast career behind him, taking on the artistic direction of Rochas and Nina Ricci and then recruited, in 2010, by Andrew Rosen to relaunch the Theory brand. A former stylist at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, he also designed the costumes for an opera by Verdi. His creations have been worn and mediatized by stars such as Madonna, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Mylène Farmer.

Behind a glass front, in his new atelier nestled in a courtyard in the 3rd arrondissement, a cheerful playlist is on, overlaid by the sound of sewing machines. Sitting on a white sofa, coffee in hand, all dressed in black, his long black hair in a ponytail, the designer welcomes us into a sober and soothing universe, typical of what you would imagine coming from him.

We met with Olivier Theyskens just before the announcement of a second lockdown in France to talk about his latest collections, his creative vision, his inspirations, and his view on the evolution of the industry in these uncertain times.