GIVENCHY SPRING – SUMMER 2019
WOMEN’s & MEN’s READY-TO-WEAR COLLECTION
I AM YOUR MIRROR
An abstract idea of mirrors informs the spring/summer 2019 women’s and men’s ready-to-wear collection by artistic director Clare Waight Keller. Manifesting the notion of the Givenchy couple, the designer mirrors female and male in each other and cross-pollinates their gender characteristics. It allows for properties conventionally comprehended as female or male to morph in a nonchalant approach to gender codes, reflective of an evolved global mentality. The transition evokes memories of iconoclasts of the past, enabling a free interaction of eras across the collection.
A recurring fascination, 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 loose presence of history fuels a dual sexuality observed in a genderless union between womens wear and mens wear, conveyed in an essentially contemporary silhouette expressed in the sharp andnarrow.
In tailoring developed in the Haute Couture ateliers, a new shoulder takes shape: petite in proportion, it sends a strict crease down the front of the sleeve and swings in sculpturally at the waist. The dimension is contrasted by 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 eveningwear, dresses and skirts materialise only in very short or floor-length proportions, an expression further interpreted in a symmetrical cut away pieces worked in softst retch.
Floral prints, once a trademark of the female wardrobe, enter into both women’s and menswear. Signifying a further take on mirroring, the patterns draw together, disappear, dissolve and explode into circular flower formations. Morphing into silver embroideries, the theme of reflection is expressed in metallic elements achieved through artisanal processes: 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.
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 crepons. Wide leather belts appear throughout, alongside work totes and small squashed zip-top bags. A new bag, the WHIP, is introduced, in a boxy construction with a long front flap and a cut-out handle. Jewellery is dramatic, exemplified in oversized chandelier earrings and corresponding rings in flattened metals, styled across thecollection.