Olivier Theyskens for Theory Fall 2011

THEYSKENS-FALL-2011-RTW-PODIUM-025_show_fullscreen_viewI just attended a special trunk show in the Via C Department of Nordstrom’s in San Francisco to see the Olivier Theyskens for Theory collection brought over from Manhattan by Alexa, the charming sales rep, here to showcase their Fall 2011 line. Belgian designer Theyskens is now the artistic director for the entire Theory line and responsible for putting his distinctive avant-garde stamp on the much beloved line. After working in the world of haute couture, Theyskens wanted to create clothing that is more accessible and affordable. After all, he says, “shape is something that has no price.” He debuted a highly lauded spring 2011 line for Theory, and the fall line is his second. He will continue to focus on wardrobe essentials like the perfect blazer and the perfect pair of black slacks.

The fall 2011 line features bootcut corduroy jeans, cable sweaters, boyfriend cardigans, dresses, flowy skirts and blouses, tees with bright graphics, cocoon coats, blazers featuring his special notched collar, pleated slouchy pants, and some evening wear.

The prints were very unusual and created by superimposing blueprints of cathedral plans and Mies Van der Rohe architecture projects. The prints suggest an abstract plaid effect, which are enhanced by layering them with “vaporized” leopard. This dress is an example of the prints.

When asked which is the “must have” piece, Alexa answered, this classic blazer in Theory’s famous lightweight gabardine, with Theyskens’ signature notched collar that creates a V in the back. The collar sits up on the neck to frame the face. It also makes for a more comfortable fit.

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Notched collar

Notched collar

Here is the back collar of a Theyskens’ jacket worn by my sister that shows how beautifully it frames the monsterra clasp on her string of pearls.

It’s never too early to be thinking about the holidays, as the evenings become cooler. Here is a beautiful brocade shrug with hidden sleeve pockets that is not only warm but ever so chic.

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Alexa, who is diminutive and stylish, had on an oatmeal sweater dress with delicate cables that she wore over one of those above mentioned printed tops, and she looked fetching and a bit vintage. Here is the dress in a deep wine color called oxide:

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Theyskens understands that Theory is famous for its pants that fit everyone, so for fall, created some great leg lengthening flared corduroys with innovative washes. Alexa showed me how the inside of a pair of cords is a different color, so the staff wears them cuffed to show off the contrast. Note the proportions.
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Are you yearning for something different in a blazer? Theyskens has created what is sure to become a classic, but with a twist. A beautifully constructed blazer that is longer in the back, with the signature notched collar, notched lapels, a low double breasted button closure, and side slits. Two words: Elegant and Effortless.

THEYSKENS-FALL-2011-RTW-PODIUM-039_show_fullscreen_viewFor cozy comfort, you can’t beat this lightweight and non-scratchy chunky cable knit sweater, with a blend of camel hair, styled with a long grey fluted skirt that has a slight metallic sheen.

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Speaking of cozy comfort, this cabled grey cardigan would be a welcome change from a jacket.

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I love the silhouette of this easy fitting tweed jacket and think it is a timeless choice.

_6507266_002I’m very excited with this partnership between a high-end European designer and an American contemporary company of enduring popularity. We’ll be able to buy clothing that reflects a true designer’s point of view without needing a trust fund.

You can read more in the The New York Times.