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Though supreme intellectualism can be difficult to reconcile with the Olivier Theyskens' doe eyes and long locks, the designer has no trouble talking nerdy inAnOther magazine's latest issue. Below, we recap the designer's heady statements on history, culture, politics, and Barthes. Yes, Barthes.
On trash bags: "There is an elegance that can be inherent, natural, personal: you put a trash bag on a certain girl, and she's elegant. It's a gift that is almost physical. And you don't need a particular type of culture: I saw such elegant girls out of Siberia or out of Angola. It's a mesmerising grace."
On culture: "Culture is something I want to feel in my work, even with a very modern silhouette. In my way of handling fashion, there will always be references, even hidden and simplified, brought to the essential."
On politics: "You can act politically with fashion, but it very quickly becomes distasteful. Many people in the fashion world are probably not very good at politics: it's a mental disconnection. Usually, fashion is for freedom, democracy, the human rights, all the good things."
On scary fashion: "When sometimes you see an army of identical individuals, in an inhuman, rigid way, it is a problem. Some designers' shows are so monodirectional that it seems dangerous somehow. When the vision of the designer is very extreme, it feels scary. I've been scared by some collections."
On intellectualism: "It's not always so good for a designer to be systematically intellectual. Sometimes it's amazing, but sometimes you want to tell the designer: "Would you just mind thinking that these are just clothes?"
On mental cross-dressing: I imagined what I would like to wear if I were in her place [...] When someone writes about the character of a novel, you can imagine yourself in the skin of another human being. I do the same: I imagine myself in the body of someone else. It's the sensation of fiction.
On fashion as a conversation, Barthes style: "Now I really want to interact with normal people, who are out of fashion, or very young people that discover fashion and think that what I’m doing is cooler than the rest of it. There is a conversation for sure."
· An Intellectual Fashion: Olivier Theyskens [AnOther]
· The 5 Best Quotes from Olivier Theyskens' Forbes Interview [Racked]
· All Olivier Theyskens Coverage [Racked]