Yes, he’s talented. But a guy can only run on the ticket of talent-soon-to-be-realized for so long. In the Givenchy collection he showed on Thursday night, Riccardo Tisci did nothing to speed his flowering as a true couturier. Rather, he again let deep-thoughts pretension detract woefully from what was good about his clothes.

Tisci sees the world darkly, and certainly fashion always needs what might be considered alternative, aggressive visions. That said, the six-figure world of couture, whose constituents shell out for two reasons — to feel good and look pretty — is probably not the perfect pulpit. Even if it were, to date Tisci has seemed more focused on his story line than his fashion message; at this point, does anyone know what Givenchy stands for?

The show was something of a cross-cultural trek, filled with tribal references from various locales — Africa, India, Burma — although exactly what a snappy coat in panels of deep-toned cashmere and leather has to do with Bosnia was not readily apparent. What was evident is that Tisci is an accomplished tailor with a fine knack for both cut and unfussy decoration. If he would bother to translate those into a clear point of view before trying to be the Dark Side’s Busby Berkeley, both his house and his audience would be the beneficiaries.

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