The Other Side of the Picture by Olivier Theyskens

The Other Side of the Picture by Olivier Theyskens

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When he was twenty, Olivier Theyskens dropped out of design school to create his first collection. Within the next year, Women’s Wear Daily headlined his “Star Quality,” Harper’s Bazaar christened him an “Instant Icon,” and The New York Times singled out his work in coverage of the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute, where it was already enshrined. That winter, Madonna wore Theyskens to the Oscars. In the decade since, he has lent his power to two international brands, “restoring the fortunes,” as Vogue put it, of the house of Rochas, and then moving on to Nina Ricci as artistic director. His work has appeared on the cover of French, British, and American Vogue worn by Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, among other stars. Even the most casually fashion conscious consumers―occasional awards-show viewers and glossymagazine readers―know his name, his striking face, and his dark, soft, and often-flattering aesthetic. Now, for the first time in his whirlwind career, through the beautiful photographs taken by Julien Claessens, Theyskens has made time to look back over his work and to press it into a book for worldwide distribution. Theysken’s com- ments, “Julien’s not running after the best-cut dresses,” instead, “he’s running after the moment.” In essence, Claessens’ beautiful visual montage captures more than merely a statement on fashion. Instead, he offers a comprehensive perspective paying homage to the authenticity of craftsmanship found in the world of fashion and bestows an intimate visual biography of the work of Olivier Theyskens, tracking his rise, cataloging his oeu- vre, and offering a beautiful showcase for the romantic, mysterious, sumptuous garments on the volume’s pages.