Throughout the Fall/Winter 2016 shows, designers have been name-checking eras past, but no one has gone as far back in history for the season as Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy. Egypt was the starting point, signified by one of Givenchy’s most pattern-heavy collections in recent memory. Humans are drawn to patterns, because they cause the eye to rove and send signals to the brain that give us nonverbal cues. This presentation sucks the viewer straight into a dense, hypnotizing display that casts a powerful spell. Being attracted to the visual impact of this collection is a matter of human biology – we are programmed to react with interest. Smart move, Riccardo.
While complex prints depicting the Eye of Horus, mandalas, and ritualistic symbolism decorated a good portion of the collection, it was Givenchy’s opening looks that were the most fashion-forward. They featured cropped jackets made of leather marquetry in multi-colored metallic hues, fitted with zip-away bands at the bottom that peeped from beneath militaristic outerwear. It was a shame they were covered up.
Being attracted to the visual impact of this collection is a matter of human biology – we are programmed to react with interest.
Fiery mandala shifts in a breezy silhouette trimmed with black-and-white striped “wings” and worn with mod turtlenecks came next, followed by long-sleeved mini-dresses saturated in Egyptian prints. Before the brain had a chance to adjust to all of Tisci’s pattern bombardment, he quieted things back down with a series of stately military coats trimmed with braiding and mink accents. Additionally, he produced a wonderful series of cocktail dresses in black velvet, which were trimmed with fur patches that sprouted from the arm and neck. They were simple, but divine. Visuals ramped up again, but this time Tisci went all out, combining multi-colored Egyptian patterns with leopard print, stained-glass prints, and snakeskin to dizzying effect.
Diana Vreeland once said, “The eye has to travel,” when remarking on the essence of good style. Well, for Fall/Winter 2016, Tisci will take your eyeballs on a journey back to Ancient Egypt and then yank you to the present with his modern machinations. Don’t worry, this sartorial trip is beyond the reach of jet lag.