PARIS — Olivier Theyskens is celebrating the relaunch of his namesake label with a capsule collection of boots designed exclusively for Joyce.
The Belgian designer unveiled the original design — a back-zipped bootie with a small heel and decorative hooks and eyes in front — at his spring runway show in September, the first since he decided to revive his brand after stints as creative director at Rochas, Nina Ricci and Theory.
“This is a timeless boot. When I launched the collection, I wanted to bring in from the start some designs that had the potential to become classics, and this boot reflects my profound aesthetic values and attitude,” Theyskens told WWD.
With its Victorian feel, the design fits into Theyskens’ Goth-tinged romantic aesthetic. “The hooks and eyes are a key element,” he said. “I used hooks and eyes a lot when I started designing my own line, and when I decided to relaunch my label, I really wanted them to have an important place in the designs.”
He has created seven versions of the shoe for his temporary boutique at the Joyce gallery in the Palais-Royal in Paris, which will be open from March 6 to 18. Prices range from 950 euros to 1,500 euros, or $1,000 to $1,600 at current exchange rates.
The boots come in materials including black or white leather; black suede; maroon or blood-red python; silver snakeskin; polka-dot embroidered patent leather, and lacquered ostrich skin. “The customer can choose the material they like and have the final product delivered three weeks later,” said Theyskens.
Alongside the shoes, Theyskens will show four large-scale prints of moody black-and-white photographs of his spring collection.
“They were made in Belgium using a camera from 1859. They are wet plate photographs. It’s a collodion camera, so it’s a very special process because it uses metal plates that are coated in photosensitive liquid, requiring very long exposure times,” the designer explained.
Theyskens worked on the pictures with Studio Baxton, a specialized photo studio in Brussels, and his longtime collaborator Julien Claessens, whose backstage images were published in 2010 in the book “Olivier Theyskens: The Other Side of the Picture.”
The photos were shot in the countryside north of Brussels and required the models to pose for 80 seconds without moving.
“There were at least 10 of us around the camera and while the picture was being taken, it’s not only the model that had to stop and freeze, but everyone else too. It’s a moment of total concentration and I have to admit that it was a pretty special experience,” he said.
“There are a lot of things that are difficult to control in the chemistry of the process, which brings its share of surprises. I enjoyed opening myself up to the unexpected with these photo sessions,” Theyskens added.
Four of the images were scanned, blown up to 30 times their original size and printed on aluminum sheets for the exhibition. They will travel next to Joyce’s Hong Kong Central boutique, which will host its version of the pop-up in April.