After Margiela, MoMu Antwerp is honoring another enfant terrible of the industry. ‘She Walks in Beauty’ is an exhibition taking you through Olivier Theyskens’ career in the fashion business. The installation, that took over five weeks to build, shows the designer’s creative evolution throughout the past 20 years. Displaying his first silhouettes from FW ’97-’98, drawings and runway videos from past shows to back his exceptional growth. From the dark romantic designs that put his name on the map, his game-changing vision he introduced at Rochas, his astonishing achievements at Maison Nina Ricci and Theory. Enfnts Terribles was present at the launch to witness the greatness of it all. And we can assure you that this exhibition is worth traveling for!

'She Walks in Beauty' exhibition by Olivier Theyskens - ENFNTS TERRIBLES

The dark beginnings of Olivier Theyskens

Never did we had the chance to see his art in real life from such a near distance and there it was: his debut collection. We were introduced into a dark atmosphere referring to the haute gothic era that pinned his name in the minds of all couture connoisseurs. ‘She Walks in Beauty’ includes the well-known yellow gown, Modanna wore in ’98, a courtesy of Olivier Theyskens himself.

As no touching was aloud we went on by admiring every other detail in the room. Like the broken ceiling that was part of the decor. Not only his clothes but also his proficient drawings were part of the spectacle. 'She Walks in Beauty' exhibition by Olivier Theyskens - ENFNTS TERRIBLES

Rochas by Theyskens

Starting from 2002 Theyskens became Rochas’ creative director and little did they know how he would change the signature style of the French couture house. In 2003 he presented his first runway collection. This time around, he had almost blocked his gothic influences and kept the romance alive throughout all of his collections. It was almost like a manifesto of his love for elegant French couture. The exhibition shows his most prestigious body of work at Rochas. Just like the stunning Chantilly lace dress with black and silver cellophane embroidery.
'She Walks in Beauty' exhibition by Olivier Theyskens - ENFNTS TERRIBLES

Olivier Theyskens for Rochas

After Rochas came Nina Ricci

Between November 2006 and March 2009, Olivier Theyskens was Nina Ricci’s head of design. With the same level of elegance, he gracefully walked in those shoes and delivered the most exquisite creations. No other designer mastered different textiles and patterns the way he did. And we will forever be grateful and appreciative of his mastery.

'She Walks in Beauty' exhibition by Olivier Theyskens - ENFNTS TERRIBLES

Olivier Theyskens for Nina Ricci

The final masterpiece

During the entire voyage of discovery, we were wowed by the greatness of Oliver Theyskens. However, the finale he had planned for us was breathtaking. Starting from the dark romantic mood of his early collections to all the fashion houses he worked for, the white train bridal dress was his big masterpiece. Olivier’s muse is strong and elegant yet she walks in beauty… from decade to decade.

 

She Walks in Beauty by Olivier Theyskens is open until March 18 at MoMu Antwerp on Nationalestraat 28, 2000 Antwerpen

Photo credit: Enfnts Terribles