As the designer prepares to start a tenure at another fashion house — after stints at Rochas, Nina Ricci and Theory, he has just been named creative director of Azzaro — Olivier Theyskens has decided to focus on the essence of his aesthetic for his namesake label.

“I’ve always enjoyed designing for other fashion houses because it allows me to open creative boxes that I wouldn’t have necessarily thought to open for myself,” he said backstage. “But I have my own point of view. For this collection, I wanted to start from scratch and revisit what initially guides me in my choices of materials and silhouettes. What you see here is almost like basics for me.”

Rather than T-shirts and jeans, “basics” in Theyskens-speak translates into see-through lace tops, flowing suits and billowing silk dresses. The collection was a rehash of the designer’s key obsessions: Black hook-and-eye details dotted most of the garments, from a beige linen structured jacket to nightwear-inspired minidresses, and sometimes ran along the back of leather coats like vertebrae. “I like how they punctuate the looks,” said the designer. “They bring a real edge.”

There were velvet Victorian coats; see-through organza shirts over satin body-con dresses; black leather gloves and pencil skirts worn with crop tops. Aside from a touch of rust-colored velvet on a long coat and powder tones on a long-sleeved satin dress, the collection was almost entirely black — even if the almost liquid aspect of some of the long satin dresses took on a blueish tint under the spotlights. This confirmed the feeling of cold beauty: The clothes were exquisite, but lacked emotion. Maybe Theyskens is saving the storytelling for his next adventure?

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