Azzaro unveils first creations by Olivier Theyskens
Olivier Theyskens joined Azzaro in February. He was due to present his first haute couture and men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collections for the Parisian luxury label by staging a major catwalk show during the Paris Haute Couture Week in July. The Covid-19 crisis forced Azzaro to change plans, and Theyskens unveiled his first creations for the label in a short, video clip-style film released on Monday July 6.
“I’d barely had time to meet the team that lockdown restrictions were imposed [in France]. The fact that we met under such unusual circumstances established a stronger bond between us, boosting everyone’s ability to adapt to the situation,” said the Belgian designer in a Zoom interview with FashionNetwork.com, right before the release of Azzaro’s video presentation on the first day of the digital Paris Haute Couture Week.
The young designer ‘welcomed’ us virtually in the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré studio in Paris, where Theyskens was able to work during the lockdown, unearthing the rich heritage of the Parisian label founded by Loris Azzaro in 1967, and where he penned his first concepts.
“I used the notion of heritage as my theme, and created the models from my initial designs and sketches, concentrating on the founder’s tailoring skills and his way of capturing the silhouette in an almost minimalistic fashion with his couture. The idea is to sublimate femininity, adding sophistication without impositions,” he told FashionNetwork.com.
Theyskens has produced some 15 looks, of which only a few were revealed on Monday in a video of just under five minutes, modelled by Belgian singer-songwriter Sylvie Kreusch, who staged a powerful, passionate musical performance filmed by Lukas Dhont, the Belgian director of ‘Girl’. Ease of movement and comfort are the concepts underpinning the collection.
Fiery red hair flowing, Sylvie Kreusch sings, dances and treads fiercely across a darkened stage, stunning in a maxi coat dress in triple back crepe adorned with crystals to highlight the neck, pockets and cuffs, or in a sister version in golden metallic material that creates an almost 3D jacquard effect thanks to lurex lace. There is of course a nod to Azzaro’s famous three-ring dress, which Theyskens has reinvented in a crystal-embroidered rendering, a long, flowing, tapered dress in silver lurex velvet.
In the studio, Theyskens showed FashionNetwork.com his other new creations: among them, a dress in black silk satin crepe embroidered with crystals, a cute gold-coloured sweater decorated with more gold lurex embroidery, a short dress with cape-style armscyes made in a transparent fabric with lace and embroidery appliqué, and a pretty little black crepe dress trimmed with rhinestones.
“The metallic finishing is a throwback to the 1980s. I love tailoring such flowing materials,” said Theyskens, who decided to focus on show-stopping items in this initial phase. “The season will extend until September. For the haute couture [collection], we emphasised our atelier work, and in the course of the season we’ll showcase other aspects with ready-to-wear,” he added.
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