THE FRENCH IMMORTALS: After Dior for contemporary artist Jean-Michel Othoniel and Chanel for choreographer Blanca Li, Givenchy is the latest house this fall to design the outfit for one of France’s Immortals — not Marvel’s superheroes, but members of its cultural academies, who are elected for life.
Elected in 2019, French writer and former diplomat Daniel Rondeau was inducted into the Académie Française, the main literary council that oversees the French language, on Thursday.
Rondeau’s outfit, which consists of a three-piece suit with a cape, was designed by Givenchy’s “Atelier Homme sur Mesure” under the supervision of creative director Matthew M. Williams.
Made of navy wool gabardine lined with black silk, it is adorned with the academic body’s traditional motif of green and gold olive branches embroidered on the collar, chest and sleeves as well as down the leg of the trousers. A handmade gold braid runs along the edges of the tailcoat and cape. A white cotton shirt, vest and bow tie are also part of the highly codified set.
According to the house, the ceremonial outfit, colloquially known as the “academician’s green habit” as a nod to its vegetal motif, took some 1,600 hours to make, including 650 hours of embroidery for the jacket alone, and involved a team of 10.
The harness for the sword that completes the full ceremonial regalia was also designed by the house and features a label with Rondeau’s name and date of entry into the academy.