It can sometimes be a rocky start as the transplant at a new job. New faces, new processes, everyone is more comfortable in their niches and roles but you. And as the new artistic director at Givenchy, Clare Waight Keller had a challenge to jump in and find her stride with a staff of such long-tenured and talented couturiers. The first show for these periods in a fashion house can often feel disjointed, but not so for Keller and the Givenchy house.
While integrating the team, Keller immersed herself into the Givenchy archives, looking to the roots of the fashion house, specifically the graphism and structure of Hubert de Givenchy’s original design aesthetic. When she re-emerged, the team got to it, and the results were a sophisticated modernist’s dream.
The starting point was the late designer’s full length wrap creating a cross along the wearer. What was a classic red carpet event piece was re-imagined into monastic-vibed and minimalist looks like an off-the-shoulder peplum wrap top, a hexagonal cape over gaucho pants, and a low shoulder wide V dress with a sheer skirt. Okay, you’ve got my attention.
From there, the musings turned toward the lunar cycles, and here is where the precise structural work of the artisan couturiers married beautifully with the imaginative vision of Keller. The palette definitely remained dark – favoring the smoldering sexiness, perhaps even goth undertones and attitudes. The looks wavered from midnight black, to a waxing gibbous moon falling in tiers from an imperial duster jacket, to a side-tail jacket over white tiered skirt during the twilight of a new moon. A silver fringe hung over structured shoulder in tiers over a pink latex maxi skirt, trailing off on one side, which in theory sounded a little crazy, but actually executed much more sedate than first imagined.
And the runway really electrifies when the looks turned to a walk in the garden at night, and the moonlight reflecting off the water. Darkened blue and silver hues dripped down skirting, while other gowns had rich darkened hues in ombre effects bleeding into each other. Just as successful were the lacework pieces embellished in crystals with floating lace tails. Gorgeousness.
I’m guessing this working relationship is going to be just fine.