Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Triple Take On Fall Fashion Theory

"If you're making good clothes and you have a good concept, there's always business to do." — Andrew Rosen 

While the Theory brand has waxed and waned over the years, it has tried to keep Rosen's vision intact by blending European craftsmanship with American merchandising models, minus advertising. The model has worked most of the time, spurring international retail growth.

In essence, the brand was successful. Even so, something always felt missing from the brand once it was acquired by an international retailer. That is, something was missing until the brand tapped Belgian designer Olivier Theyskens. And this year, the relationship that revived the brand is in full force.

Theory looks for a crisp, clean and sophisticated fall.

At a glance, everything looks much like you would expect at Theory this year until you take a closer look at the lines. Those straight edges look modern until you tumble down the new arrivals and pick up a sense of familiarity. Some of the cuts are unapologetically inspired by segments of the Sixties.

Even cooler, the Sixties flair isn't all feminine. It's relativity masculine with a few punk inspirations woven into sophistication. And if it wasn't for the polish and great attention to detail, you could expect to find some of these fashions tucked alway on alternative aisles.

The Trina Turk dress is an example that marks Theory's direction. The fitted dress can be worn at work with a blazer or with a leather jacket as a happy hour ensemble. Highlights include a crew neck, sleeveless top, and concealed zipper.

Like most Theory dresses, it is lined. This one is made with a rayon, nylon, spandex mix. Then compare it to the new Nikay, which is made with a cotton blend (33 percent cotton, 27 percent acrylic, 10 percent nylon, 3 percent elastane). It too is a sleeveless styled dress with a round neck and invisible zipper. Some aspects are the same, only simplified and improved upon.

Likewise, Theory is making some bold moves on pants too. While most Theory pants are known for their tailored cuts with features like off-seam front pockets to create a fitted slacks look, some of the new styles feature tighter elastic waist panels and shorter legs with cuffs. There is clearly a throwback consideration to be seen.

A couple graphs about designer Oliver Theyskens. 

While no on can deny that Rosen still makes an impression at Theory, it's often Theyskens who is driving some of the new lines with his relentless desire to make quality fashion at the proper price. It's an admirable goal, especially as Theory embraces a look that stands out more than ever.

Theyskens himself always wanted to work in fashion. He studied at Ecole de la Cambre in Brussels and started his own eponymous brand in 1997 (just as Rosen was getting getting Theory off the ground). His sharp design and cutting-edge vision made him immediately revered by his colleagues and peers.

Within five years, he was appointed artistic director of Rochas, where he completely redefined the style of the Parisian house. His next move led him to Nina Ricci and he was eventually approached by Rosen to create Theyskens' Theory before he eventually accepted a residency as an artistic director.

The Upcoming Fall Line By Theory Cuts 8.9 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

While I'm a big fan of both hard clothing and Bohemian looks, the upcoming line for Theory is something worthwhile. It is completely distinct at the right time as a few European designers have been trending in this direction. The look is smart, but refreshingly not overly formal.

You can find Theory on sale at Bloomingdales, where the newest fashions will eventually be featured on the front page. You can also make purchases from Theory direct. Although the brand is best known for women, Bloomingdales also stocks the men's line. Like the new line for women, there seems to be a lot less prep and more punk in the newer fashions being added.
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