PARIS — Here we go again.
Givenchy has nixed the major runway show it had planned for Friday, opting to show its fall ready-to-wear collection, likely the last designed by Alexander McQueen, in two small presentations in its Avenue Georges V couture salon.
The decision, confirmed Friday, raises the specter of another debacle for the hundreds of editors who cover the Paris shows. In January, Givenchy cancelled its couture show at the 11th hour, staging a small runway show for 120 clients. The house subsequently invited select journalists to see, but not photograph, the clothes by appointment.
A Givenchy spokeswoman said the two shows on Friday, at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., would accommodate about 180 people in total, with retailers comprising the majority of the audience. No news photographers will be invited.
“In this transition period, we feel a small, intimate presentation is the most appropriate way to show this collection,” the spokeswoman said.
In January, Givenchy cited “production problems” as the official reason for canceling its winter couture show. However, it is clear that Bernard Arnault, chairman of Givenchy parent LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, is loath to let McQueen win publicity for himself at LVMH’s expense.
As reported, Gucci Group bought a 51-percent stake in McQueen’s fashion house last December, exacerbating tensions between the warring luxury groups. Last month, McQueen confirmed that Gucci would finance a couture collection for him and told WWD: “I might even hold my show at the same time as Dior and see who pulls more weight!”
McQueen’s contract at the house extends through October; however, it is expected that LVMH will name his replacement in time for the successor to complete a summer couture collection for July.
The Givenchy spokeswoman declined to comment on a successor. Sources indicate no contract has been signed to date, but Olivier Theyskens and Alber Elbaz are said to be among the front-runners for the post.
McQueen is slated to arrive in Paris on Tuesday, in time to present his fall-winter Givenchy collection, the spokeswoman added.
Originally, the “Le Notre” room at the Carrousel du Louvre had been booked for the Givenchy show, a venue that can accommodate up to 1,500 people.