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.

Top 10 Trends: Spring 2011

Spring 2011 has something for everyone. Here are my top ten choices for a stylish spring.

1. Wide legged trousers
 
Relaxed, high waisted and wide legged trousers and jeans for spring extend the eye for a leggier, taller appearance. What is there not to like?
Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs

Dries Van Noten

Dries Van Noten

2. Maxi Dress or Skirt
 
Remember the maxi dress from the 1970s? It’s back, with less rock and roll and more sophistication. Pair a long skirt with simple tops to avoid looking too dowdy.
Derek Lam

Derek Lam

Yigal Azrouel

Yigal Azrouel

3. Prints, floral and ethnic

Prints abounded for spring, in tiny bouquets, big, bold floral abstracts, tribal, ethnic and the exoticism of the east.
Rodarte

Rodarte

Etro

Etro

4. Platform Wedge Sandals
 
In the interest of comfort, choose a flat wedge platform sandal for a quick update.
Chanel

Chanel

flat platform sandals

 
5. Stripes
 
Spring’s sporty look translates into bold stripes in dresses, tops and accessories, but narrow stripes paired with a midi skirt looks quite chic.
Fendi

Fendi

Jeremy Laing

Jeremy Laing

6. Midi skirt

Hemlines fell this spring from minis to mid calf or longer, but are far from matronly, especially when striped or in a brilliant color.
Vionnet Yves

Vionnet Yves

Marc by Marc Jacobs

Marc by Marc Jacobs

7. Vibrant Color Combos

Tonal color combinations exploded this spring—-pinks, oranges, turquoises, bright yellows, lime and emerald greens, deep purples, teals and electric blues. The brighter the better!
Jil Sander

Jil Sander

Color Blocking

Color Blocking

8. Ruffles

Ruffles remain a mainstay but as you can see, are far from twee!
Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent

9. Lace top

Keep it simple and not too seductive for a ladylike look, in black, white, or nude lace, eschewing colors.
Alberta Ferreti

Alberta Ferreti

Alberta Ferreti

Alberta Ferreti

10. Minimalism

Less can be more when stripped down to simple, architectural lines, proving that minimalism need not mean boring.
Cushnie et Ochs

Cushnie et Ochs

Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein

January in New York City

While most people prefer someplace tropical and warm, New York City in January turned out to be the perfect time to get discounted theater tickets. In fact, discounts abound in January, which is the month of big sales. While bargain sleuthing, I had a chance to wander the neighborhoods. Here are some highlights from my wanderings.

The Meatpacking District has exploded into a warren of tony boutiques with both high end designers like Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen, as well as more affordable designers like Diane von Furstenberg and Trina Turk, as well as popular favorites like Vince and Theory. I was especially interested in the beautifully cut leather jackets at Yigal Azrouel, 408 W. 14th St at Ninth Ave.

Speaking of leather jackets, the undisputed leader of the pack, Rick Owens, has a new flagship store near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel at 250 Hudson St., decidedly off the beaten track, but home to some beautiful, minimalist designs, for which he is deservedly famous. This photo is from his Fall 2009 runway show.

Rick Owens

Rick Owens Leather Jacket

Maria

Maria Cornejo & Zero

MichelleObama_TheDailyShowMaria Cornejo + Zero has two outposts worth seeking out. The first store at 807 Greenwich St. in the West Village, carries her signature drapey constructions with little hanger appeal that beg to be tried on for full effect. Kat and Ellen are the two helpful sales staff who are more than happy to help you try on everything in the store! There is a second store at 33 Bleecker St., north of Houston.

Here is Michelle Obama on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart wearing Maria Cornejo’s fitted blue wool jacket with matching skirt and belt from the Spring 2009 collection.

The Brooklyn Flea Market has moved indoors for the winter to the beautiful and historic Williamsburgh Savings Bank Building at One Hanson Place, the tallest building in Fort Greene. About 100 vendors offer vintage clothing, jewelry, furniture, and other collectibles on Saturdays and Sundays until March, when they move back outdoors in Fort Green and DUMBO. Susan Walker has great vintage jewelry at reasonable prices at her booth called Found. She also sells online.

Brooklyn Flea Market

Brooklyn Flea Market

All this shopping makes one hungry. Cafe Gitane, a neighborhood favorite in Nolita, has a newly opened sister restaurant in the West Village in the historic Jane Hotel, 113 Jane St., overlooking the Hudson River, with the same French/Moroccan menu at reasonable prices. With its vaulted ceilings and charming ambiance, it’s the perfect place for refueling.

Cafe Gitane

Cafe Gitane