Creative director Don O’Neill’s latest Theia collection considered two important factors: retail performance and the current political climate. He homed in on evening silhouettes, which have performed well for the brand, adding pearls as the “new embroidery” in Theia’s universe of shine and sparkle.

O’Neill is enamored with pearls as symbols of purity, wisdom and strength of spirit. In this time of unrest, he believes women are in need of empowerment in any form. And now more than ever, he wanted to underscore the brand’s message of inner confidence and tenacity. To that end, pearls were embroidered on everything, as cascading maximal embellishment on a fitted stretch-jersey gown that the designer insisted was comfortable, not restricting, to long sleeves with an armorlike quality, fashioned in the vein of renaissance knights going into battle.

His vivid palette of cranberry, burgundy, teal and midnight drew from the work of Dutch photographer Alexander James, and was seen on gowns with modern shapes and trendy sleeves. Key to the brand are hand-beaded gowns that provide a unique quality customers appreciate, like laser-cut petals stitched onto a column gown with Swarovski crystals. The sleekest of the offerings was a double-printed velvet — printed first with gold foiling, then again with silver cross-hatching. It was glamorous, comfortable and aimed to provide women with a sparkle both inside and out.

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