The Dark Prince

Olivier Theyskens: The Other Side of the Picture

When the sleek-haired Olivier Theyskens stepped down as creative director of Nina Ricci last year, Anna Wintour is said to have cried: “How could you do this to me?” Such is the power of the Belgian-born designer’s gothic vision for womenswear, which, before his arrival at Nina Ricci, he had explored at his own label and as creative director of Rochas from 2002 to 2006. Defiantly uncommercial, his work has always blurred the line between ready-to-wear and couture, from the enormous ball gowns of his earliest collections to the astonishing, heel-less platform shoes that he fielded for his swansong at Nina Ricci. His next move is anyone’s guess, but in the meantime he has been working on a book, The Other Side of the Picture, out from Assouline this February.
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