The soundtrack to the show seemed weirdly familiar. Through the distorted sounds, you could just about make out the words to Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” “I had that song in my head all summer,” said Olivier Theyskens, who chose a super slowed-down version of the track to accompany his silhouettes’ eerie glamour.
The concept of fun was at the core of his collection. “I have a lot of fun working on my designs, experimenting with techniques and honing the silhouettes’ aesthetic,” continued the designer, speaking backstage at the show’s headquarters, a beautiful hôtel particulier in the 10th arrondissement. “But the girls who wear them, they also need to have fun.”
The contrast between sophisticated design techniques and exuberant glamour was perfectly balanced in this collection, which fused Theyskens’ usual Gothic vibe with something a bit more undone. The first looks featured black and nude satin shorts that looked like retro lingerie, worn with corsets with his signature hook-and-eye detail. Tailoring was super fitted, sometimes with edges left unhemmed and basque outlines on the front. Looks were often supershort — tiny black dresses with a plunging neckline, high-waisted shorts — with legs elongated by towering heels in shocking pink and deep red satin.
The collection had a Courtney Love vibe. Models sported spiky eyelashes coated in multiple layers of mascara — courtesy of makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench — and chokers that looked like a cross between a bicycle chain and barbed wire. Pink looks came as a surprise amongst the predominantly black palette: A forlorn-looking model wearing a bubblegum satin bustier with a subtle petticoat looked like a disappointed graduate after a boring prom. Tulle bras paired with leather pencil skirts — and messy hair — were frankly badass, as were the oversize sunglasses designed in collaboration with Jacques Marie Mage. The collection felt grounded, maybe not as cerebral as past iterations — and even if the girls on the runway didn’t so much as crack a smile, it was indubitably a fun show to watch.