Olivier Theyskens has been feted, petted, and awarded since he first emerged from obscurity at the age of 20 in 1997. That was the age that he dropped out of École Nationale Superieure des Arts Visuels de la Cambre, where he was studying fashion design. He had decided to start his own line. Unlike most inexperienced designers, he succeeded. Within a year, Madonna was wearing one of his gowns.
Since then it’s been one thing after another - revamping the Rochas design house, and revitalizing the Nina Ricci brand. His long dark hair and fragile build are as famous as his artistic flights of fancy (that don’t always translate to strong sales). He has recently been immortalized in a book, a collaboration with photographer Julian Claessens called ‘Olivier Theyskens: The Other Side of The Picture’. The text was written by Vogue Features Editor Sally Singer. Barney’s New York is set to host the book’s launch party, hosted by Creative Director Simon Doonan. The book officially went on sale February 12th, 2010 during New York Fashion Week.
The designer, who has been lauded by none other than Vogue’s high priestess Anna Wintour for his ‘vital artistic talent’, gave Claessens complete access, and the intimately photographed tome chronicles his complete career and allows us into the secret workings of someone who can only be described as a genius.