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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Just In: Olivier Theyskens to Halston?

Word from Paris is that Olivier Theyskens, after just showing his last collection for Nina Ricci amid a din of chatter, is heading to Halston. While this seems unlikely to us, as couture-level European designers don't typically do well at American brands, it isn't outside the realm of possibility. And since Marco Zanini left the label about six months ago—for Rochas, ironically, where Theyskens designed from 2002 to 2006—Halston's co-owner Harvey Weinstein, board member Tamara Mellon and CEO Bonnie Takhar have been on a well-publicized hunt for a replacement. One name tossed up recently was London designer Marios Schwab.

No matter who ends up coming to New York, it'll be a challenging task reviving Halston, which Weinstein bought in 2007 for $20 million, saying at the time he wanted it to be "the first American global luxury brand, an American LVMH." Yet the revolving door never seems to stop revolving. At least six designers and eight owners have pinned their hopes on Halston in the last 35 years, without much success.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Romantic Movement

By Franklin Melendez...

This has been the talk of couture week in Paris, so it must be true—plus we've been hearing it for a little while now. Though unconfirmed, rumors abound that Olivier Theyskens will be leaving his post at Nina Ricci. We doubt anyone can hear anything over all that swishing of taffeta, but it seems the willowy young Belgian might be living up to his fashion legend, that of a romantic yet tragically doomed hero.

The descent into Dickensian drama began in 2001 with the shuttering of his namesake label, where he toiled over corsetry for Madge at the tender age 22. This was followed by his rapturous, though brief stint at Rochas, where he spun organza into fragile suiting. After financial problems at Rochas sent him packing, Nina Ricci seemed like the long-awaited happy turn.

But it seems the top brass there has been aggressively pushing for more commercial collections to jumpstart less than stellar sales. Apparently jodhpurs and will-o'-the-wisp gowns aren't selling like they used to. But Theyskens won't budge, and why should he? Add to that a difficult fall collection—the long-short hemline combo didn't work for Demi Moore either, even at the height of the '80s—and you have a recipe for disaster when his contract is up soon.

And, we have to say it, Blake Lively at the Golden Globes didn't do anyone any favors. The Gossip Girl was virtually spilling out of her Nina Ricci strapless gown—presumably a sample that was a size (or two) on the small side. We're still waiting for final word, but in the meantime here's hoping our talented hero lives to see another day—and that our maligned heroine won't be led astray by the false assurance of stylists.

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