Givenchy Paris Fashion Week 2014
A suppressed atmosphere of eroticism has been suggesting itself here and there through the collections. At Givenchy, it finally broke cover. “I wanted to talk more about women than young girls,” said Riccardo Tisci, referring to his frankly grown-up take on female sexuality. He said he’d found his way into it by looking at the work of the Italian furniture designer and architect Carlo Mollino, a man with an interest in insects and taking pictures of naked and scantily clad women (it’s amazing what we find out about obscure practitioners of the arts through fashion these days, isn’t it?).
The result was one of Tisci’s best collections to date, a lineup that alternated between forties-influenced semi-sheer chiffon dresses printed with imagery derived from butterfly and moth wings, and strong, modern-looking gray tailoring strangely punctuated with broad bands of color. The contrast of masculine and feminine might be one of fashion’s most overused clichés, but still, Tisci’s riff this time made for a compellingly sophisticated series of great things to wear.
The show took place along a long strip of carpet, a visual device that also seemed to keep the silhouettes—and their editing—within the discipline of the straight and narrow. The dresses came out apace, fragile in rendering but still hinting at something perverse. The tailoring series was introduced with mint-color crombie-style coats and blouses, over pants, segueing into short spencer jackets, black velvet suits, and then chic, narrow evening coats. Amongst all this, the luxury quotient was upped by a passage of pale astrakhan and fur coats, and there was a jolt of surprise when an evening dress came out with a fur bodice placed atop a black chiffon skirt. Finally, the insect-wing patterns were abstracted into dense, multicolored paillette embroideries, including one worn by Stella Tennant, fashion’s most innately elegant grown-up modeling star.