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2009 March 6

Never Can Say Goodbye

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Lou Doillon and Milla Jovovich Lou Doillon and Milla Jovovich
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(PARIS) On the outskirts of the 13th, Olivier Theyskens showed what is most likely his last effort for Nina Ricci. The temperatures were below normal, so the heating system was installed under the seating to better serve the guests. But it might not have been necessary. Theyskens brought plenty of fire to the runway in a final defile that featured tears, surprise guests, and standing ovations from supporters like Anne Christensen and Hilary Alexander.  “It was like space age poetry,” raved Milla Jovovich. “It’s like David Bowie makes music and Olivier’s designs. I would aspire to wear that on stage.”

The first thing that stood out about the show was, of course, the shoes. Cautious models confidently walked to the frequent applause from front row guests like Lou Dillon, Isabelle Le Besco, Loulou de la Falaise, and Ellen von Unwerth in skyscraper high wonders. “No one even seemed to fall or even wobble,” noticed Robbie Myers. “Architecturally, the shoes were very nice.” “We’ve had a lot of practice,” explained Lily Donaldson. “But once you take them off, you automatically feel very short. That’s the only downside.” Theyskens naturally had his own explanation. “When I drew the collection, I expressed all the shoes with a simple long stroke,” he recollected. “And then I thought, 'Wait a minute. Let’s try to actually to do this,' and we did!”

And what was his last inspiration for the actual clothes? “I wanted the feeling of the collection to be a bit magical,” the Belgian said. “I hoped for something that encompassed intense creativity and a mix of my different strengths. It wasn’t about party dresses; it was more about a moonlit experience.” Mario Sorrenti, who like Grace Coddington joyously ran backstage to hug the designer, admitted that he was a bit speechless from the experience. “Everything was mind-blowing,” he raved. “It was all very wonderfully sexual. The collection looked like sculptures gracefully walking on water.”

But not everyone from the front row made it behind the curtains. Puig brass escaped to a simple cafe under the bridge right afterwards to escape the press grilling, while Pierre Rougier and Ed Filipowski were surprise guests, leaving many to speculate about Theyskens’ near future. But for now, the designer’s Ricci team wasn’t concerned about his rumored namesake line. They toasted with champagne and cried at the unofficial after-party bar backstage. “Yes, it’s all very emotional,” said a choked up Theyskens, stopping himself from elaborating further as publicists watched on. Tanya Dziahileva for one did not want to say goodbye to it all.  “He’s truly one of my favorites and it’s sad that he’ll be gone from Ricci,” she sighed. “I’m just standing around here and I’m refusing to take his clothes off. They’ll have to force me.”
VALENTINE UHOVSKI




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