When it comes to darkly urban cool, Olivier Theyskens and his revamp of Theory have got a monopoly on the aesthetic. It all started with a surprising first collection, followed by the flared corduroys that launched countless fans. And then his criss-crossy messenger bag came on the scene last year, solidifying the label as a lower-priced line high on casual luxury.
Leather jumpsuits and wool coats, autumn shorts and sheer mullet-maxis: much of it paired with bags high on shine and low on color. It’s not the polished, peppy kind of shine we usually see. Fall 2012’s gleam is roughed up and gritty. This glossy leather and sheen-filled pony-hair are creased; they’ve been through something, giving the clutches a relaxed, daytime-appropriate vibe.
Theyskens also mixed up the lean, leggy, youthful looks with a lightly structured top-handle style – more toned down, more grown up than anything we’ve seen so far from the brand. But the best of the bunch was a super-textural crocodile-effect crossbody bag, trimmed in crackly patent leather – that somehow doesn’t look at all cheesy. It drove the point home: the messenger is Theyskens’ Theory’s jam.