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Olivier Theyskens dreams of a futuristic world - where women wear shorts in winter

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Olivier Theyskens says he was having visions of the future when he designed his fall collection.

But not a utopian future, he stressed, following his runway show Monday.

"I wanted this world to have a touch of reality to it," said the Belgian-born designer, a hipster darling of the fashion industry. "Like it could actually happen."

So how would we dress in this sort-of realistic future world? In his collection for Theory, Theyskens presented roomy, boxy clothes (we'd be comfortable there, that's for sure). His dresses, constructed with padding, had so much fabric in back, you'd think the models were hiding their jet packs under there — the better to fly off to a neighbouring galaxy for lunch.

Another popular item in our distant, Theyskenian future: Shorts. Theyskens loves them.

"They show energy and youth," he said. "They show self-confidence." This being a show of fall and winter clothes, the shorts were made of thicker fabrics than usual, and were accompanied by flirty little "undershorts," creating a layering effect.

Theyskens also included a number of nice, soft sweaters and stylish trousers, and though they were less dramatic than the futuristic garments, they seemed easier to wear. His short skirts, too, were pretty and flouncy.

There were also a warm and delicious white wool coat, and a couple of sparkly numbers, including a shimmery beaded shift dress — for those nighttime parties in space.

Theyskens ended his show with one of his boxy dresses, and afterwards, he explained how he envisioned it might be worn. A very long time from now.

"I kind of see it like a sleeping robe for a spaceship trip," he said with a smile.

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