Paris Fashion Week Couture Fall 2018 Givenchy Fashion Show

The House Codes and a Tribute to the Late Hubert de Givenchy

Back fresh from a July 4th vacation and it’s time to celebrate the real holiday. You know it – the holiday that gets a full week, celebrated internationally, blessed by all, including the likes of Anna Wintour. That’s right, Paris Couture Fashion Week. Let’s kick it off with a review of artistic director Clare Waight Keller’s “homage to Hubert de Givenchy’s iconic creations, technique and personal lexicon”.

His Greatest Muse: Audrey Hepburn

It’s been an interesting time for the fashion house as of late. The founding couturier, Hubert de Givenchy passed away in March – a major loss for the Givenchy house, as well as the world of fashion at large. His influence was far-reaching and acclaimed for its timelessness. Then shortly after, Clare Waight Keller surely walked on a cloud for weeks after her design for the royal bridal gown for Meghan Markle, turned Duchess of Sussex was unveiled. The designer took inspiration from a 1964 photograph of who other than Audrey Hepburn modeling a Givenchy bridal gown, and the result was stunning. If she wasn’t before, Waight Keller is on everyone’s radar now as the designer to watch.

In full circle, the Fall 2018 Couture collection is a look at the timeless house codes, and a tribute to the late Hubert’s legacy. At the heart of it stood Audrey Hepburn, the leading lady of Hubert’s black book of inspiration. From this viewpoint, we saw vintage 50’s style trappings merge with modern finishings like strong shoulders, heavy capes, and suiting. These are women of strength who mean business….with impeccable style. An updated version of Audrey Hepburn, if you will.

Liquid Metal and the Goddess of Strength

And oh, the plays in metal Givenchy explored. From the simple metal belt (that’s officially back) to the harness, to the liquid gold, it all read phenomenal woman a la Mother of Dragons. A few plisse silk numbers also spoke to classic history, weaving in and out of the sweeping goddess gowns, some seemingly as light as air. While these stuck pretty much to the same basic tenet, they showed off an impressive variation in technique and perspective – a very difficult balance to achieve. Designers are usually criticized for their collections not being cohesive enough, or hitting the same not repeatedly. Not so here.

Avant Garde Meets Classic

In all, the collection was a stellar homage, elevated to the modern woman. Some pieces went full out avant garde, and some remained striking in their timeless outlook to Mr. Givenchy. I think the addition of Clare Waight Keller is proving to be just what the house needed.



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