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Olivier Theyskens Ready to Go With Three or Four Collections Completely Sketched and Planned

>> Olivier Theyskens has been unemployed for the past year, and aside from his book coming out Feb. 11, he told the Wall Street Journal he hasn't kept up with fashion magazines or parties. "Actually, I was thinking, oh, you should see on the Net what was going on. But I didn't. It makes me think that normal people — 99 percent of the people — don't run to the Net to see what's happening [on the runways]."

Theyskens, or "fashion's version of My So-Called Life — the TV show that was simultaneously applauded and canceled," as the Wall Street Journal put it, had critics enthralled when he was designing at both Rochas and then Nina Ricci, but retailers, not so much — they found it hard to stomach his $2,000 silk blouses.

Karen Daskas, owner of the Tender Birmingham boutique near Detroit, attests: "He cut for somebody that was tall and very thin. It didn't fit women who could afford clothes of that caliber." She now has Theyskens's final Nina Ricci collection marked down to 60 percent off. "I can't give it away. And we try it on everybody."

What does Theyskens say to that? »

Theyskens's response?  All the criticism that his clothes sold poorly because of their high cost is "legend" but untrue. "He also says the production department controlled fit issues using 'strict measurement scales supposedly corresponding to the sector,'" reports the Wall Street Journal.

But just because Theyskens has taken a break from the fashion circuit doesn't mean his creativity has stopped flowing.  The designer, who in the past insisted on designing his own fabrics, has been creating imaginary collections in his notebooks as he bides his time waiting for a new design home. Currently, he has three or four completely ready to go, down to fabrics, plans, "everything."

When asked about the possibility of creating his own label, he doesn't commit: "Oh God . . . That's for sure, I have always thought [about] it." Instead, he notes that 2009, with all the economic strain, wasn't a bad year for a break.

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