Givenchy SS 2019 Women & Men’s Ready-to-Wear Collection
Inspiring herself by the concept of the quintessential Givenchy couple, Clare Waight Keller’s collection for Givenchy mirrors female and male in each design and cross-pollinates their gender characteristics.
Aspects of design and features that may be conventionally perceived as either female or male to morph into a fuss-free yet elegantly drawn form – approach to gender codes reflective of an evolved global mentality.
The transition presented by Clare also evokes memories of iconoclasts of the past. Her timeless designs feature elements that are characteristic of certain fashion era.
A retrospective muse of sorts for Clare, Annemarie Schwarzenbach was a hauntingly handsome writer who identified as female but boldly dressed in menswear amid the collapse of the exuberant Weimar Republic in the 1930s. In a much different time, the corresponding love and looks of Lou and Nico appeared distinctly ahead of their day.
The Givenchy collection highlights an essentially contemporary silhouette expressed in the sharp and narrow.
Through tailoring developed in the Haute Couture ateliers, the collection features high-waist trousers overblown in volume, cut low on the hip but structured with a hint of a basque. Facets borrowed from military dress nod at a sense of gender-non-specific uniformity.
Through day and evening wear, dresses and skirts materialise only in very short or floor-length proportions, an expression further interpreted in asymmetrical cutaway pieces worked in soft stretch. Floral prints, once a trademark of the female wardrobe, enter into both women’s and menswear.
Dresses in silver lace lacquered in silver and applied with silver resin create a foil effect, while silver outerwear comes to life through leather lamination. Mirror embroidery appears in menswear to great effect.
Reflected in the show set, a series of rooms draped in painted canvases like the uncovering of an old house, colours materialise in a faded warm palette of beige tones, deep yellows, dark greens, lavender, salmon and indigo blue.
Fabrics largely emerge in cottons, jerseys and crêpes. Wide leather belts appear throughout, alongside work totes and small squashed zip-top bags.
The collection heralds a new bag, the WHIP. A boxy construction with a long front flap and a cut-out handle – we love it. The jewellery associated with this collection is dramatic, exemplified in oversized chandelier earrings and corresponding rings in flattened metals, styled across the collection.