Up until last night, you would’ve been forgiven for conjuring up images of iconic graphic jumpers, star-studded T-shirts, and Bambi-printed items every time someone mentioned Givenchy. After all, the brand has achieved incredible commercial success in the past few seasons by producing such recognizable, must-have garments. This season, however, Riccardo Tisci is changing directions.
Gone are the street style-ready pieces and iconic pop references. For Spring/Summer 2014, Givenchy is all about elegant dress with a strong ethnic undercurrent. The mood was set by the live drumming sounds of Sing Sing Rhythms, and Tisci drew inspiration from a range of cultures, focusing on their indigenous clothing traditions. References to Japan appeared in the form of jackets resembling Kimonos and shitagis, shirts worn by Samurais that attached at the neck. These were kept modern with the use of zippers and the addition of pockets. Beautifully draped skirts and dresses, at times draping below the navel and at others gathered at the waist and attached to the neck by strips of leather, were a reminder of traditional African dress. Tisci took the reference one step further and covered his models’ faces in glitter in tribute to tribal face painting. The sleeves of dresses were cut out in an intricate crisscrossing pattern, giving the illusion of stacked bangles. Joan Smalls closed the show in an open, floor-length creation, somewhere between a tuxedo and an abaya.
Only time will tell whether Tisci’s gamble will pay off or not, but something tells us this restrained, elegant collection is going to be a huge hit in the Middle East come next season.
Photos: Courtesy of GoRunway