Something wickedly chic this way came. In a season of masculine-feminine interplays and streetwise fare, Riccardo Tisci delivered a pulse-pounding Givenchy collection — his best to date. To blistering techno, his models whisked through the Lycée Carnot gymnasium in a blur of geometric hems, leopard spots, flashes of metal and black sheer fabrics trailing like smoke. It was an exhilarating show, laced with danger.


Tisci cited Robert Mapplethorpe photographs as a key reference, which explains the mostly black-and-white palette, the leather harnesses backing ruffle-front tops, and the zippers that added teeth to Tisci’s tough fashion vision. The hardware crisscrossed the backs of jackets like crucifixes — religion being another of the designer’s fixations. Zippers also snaked up the side seams of lean pants, bifurcated a delicate blush-colored chiffon gown and clustered on the front of blouses to form industrial-strength jabots. A long, straight-lined silhouette predominated, broken up with layers: two-tiered jackets, bi-level short skirts, often worn over pants, the legs frequently veiled in a flutter of chiffon. It was as controlled as it was primal.


Tisci is building a strong vocabulary for the French house, one of the few to pounce on animal prints this season. He manipulates them with imagination: blowing up the scale; embroidering the spots; camouflaging them as lustrous jacquards in powdery shades. Under Tisci’s tenure, there’s nothing tame about Givenchy.

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