olivier theyskens

Even without a fashion line, Olivier Theyskens is still designing. Photo: Getty Images for NARS

By nature, the fashion business is a dog-eat-dog (albeit well-groomed) industry. So, when times are tough, even talented designers go unemployed.

Take Olivier Theyskens, for instance. Since being let go as head designer at Nina Ricci, he's been on the prowl for the next big gig.

However, in the meantime, the designer's been keeping busy with a new fashion book with photographer Julien Claessens. The tome, published by Assouline, is provocatively titled "The Other Side of the Picture."

Rather than a tell-all rant on his former employers, as the name suggests, Theyskens tells StyleList, "I love books about fashion and I love books about art.

"The book contains the sums of works that is from 15 years of collaboration between Julien Claessens and me ... and it's from the backstage of shows," the designer elaborated.

Job-hunting, though, is still looming large. According to the Wall Street Journal, Olivier is keeping things upbeat and sketching along the way.

"As Mr. Theyskens searches for a new label, he says he has been creating imaginary collections in his notebooks. Three or four are completely ready to go -- down to the chosen fabrics, plans, 'everything,'" reports the paper.

There's always the option of creating his own line, but the doe-eyed designer only commented, "Oh God. ... That's for sure, I have always thought [about] it."

Considering that his track record with big fashion houses hasn't exactly been lustrous -- he was let go from Rochas and then Nina Ricci - could it be it's Theyskens who has been too dreamy?

Tender Birmingham boutique owner, Karen Daskas, wasn't too thrilled with the designer's fit. "He cut for somebody that was tall and very thin. It didn't fit women who could afford clothes of that caliber," she told WSJ.

Despite marking the collection down by 60%, the pieces in the Detroit-area store still didn't budge. "I can't give it away," she said. "And we try it on everybody."

Theyskens is quick to defend himself and says the questions over fit were totally false. He argues that it was the production department that had control over fit.

Fit or not, one thing's for sure: the designer needs a bit of updating. On the role of the Internet in the fashion industry, Theyskens was plainly in the clouds.

"Actually, I was thinking, oh, you should see on the Net what was going on," he told the paper. "But I didn't. It makes me think that normal people - 99% of the people - don't run to the Net to see what's happening [on the runways]."

While many think Theyskens is a creative genius, others will certainly find his views on the Internet far from in-the-know. And just wait till he hears about Twiitter.

Almost all major fashion brands and designers have embraced "the Net," and then some, just check out Burberry's new social media initiative.