Riccardo Tisci poured many of his passions into 10 couture dresses. There’s Fritz Lang’s 1927 “Metropolis,” a favorite movie of his since childhood; “Aelita,” an obscure Russian science-fiction title from the same era whose score is said to have influenced Germany’s techno movement, and lastly, pushing Givenchy’s atelier to experiment with new techniques.
The result was spectacular, building on the dark romance Tisci has brought to Givenchy over the past seven years. He also added new elements, including a looser line, bias cutting, a downpour of crystals and even a pair of flowing black trousers. “It’s a very sparkly collection, which, in a way, is very couture,” the designer said.
The Oscar nominations were announced Tuesday, and Tisci hinted that actresses are already angling for certain looks. They should, especially the three white stunners with delicate, T-shirt-simple bodices and micro-sequins painstakingly applied to long bias skirts so as not to disturb that special drape. One of the most striking white ensembles — echoing the proletariat-versus-elite plotline of “Metropolis” — paired a cotton-cashmere tank with a long, sinuous skirt slung over one shoulder on a heavy chain. It scintillated with a rain of crystal fringe.
The workmanship on crocodile looks was astonishing: 350 hours to disassemble a skin, bleach it, re-dye it and remount it on tulle for a sweeping gown. It was time well spent to achieve that soigné Art Deco glamour.
Tisci moved Givenchy’s high fashion off the runway four seasons ago, and now makes a group portrait by Willy Vanderperre the climax of his presentations. This season, the models, who ranged in age from 18 (Kati Nescher) to 48 (Kristen McMenamy), stood in a row in the oldest gymnasium in Paris, under a basketball net. It was the picture of exciting, modern-day couture.