Clare Waight Keller, the former Creative Director of Chloé and new head of Givenchy, has been shaping women’s taste in clothes for decades. But, the two maisons for which she is known conjure opposing images: one light, effervescent, and bohemian and the other dark, sophisticated, and sharp.
Tasked with her first couture collection ever, Waight Keller struck an accord between opposites by imagining a garden at night. While the world sleeps, the night garden comes to life, evidenced only by the prismatic reflection of the moon on shifting wings, scuttling feet, and quietly blooming petals. It is a place where magic can happen, and it is sublimely captured and distilled into her collection for Givenchy Spring 2018 Couture.
Here she adjusts expectations, reassuring us that red carpet couture is going to look a lot different under her watch. Instead of glitzy gowns, she served drama with crisp, architecturally rendered separates, which borrowed suiting elements in order to marry together the masculine and feminine. There were calculated explosions of ruffles, tempered by impeccably cut suit jackets, and narrow coats trimmed with dégradé feathers worn over glittering gowns. Proof that covered-up, modest proportions can be sexy was in ample supply on the Givenchy Couture runway.
After eight years absent from the couture calendar, Givenchy’s proposition was so crystal-clear, so effortless, and so in line with what real women want to wear that its revival could not have been more timely.
There was something pure and unpretentious about this collection, and something refreshing about Waight Keller’s vision. Maybe because it lacked a traditional couturier’s heavy hand, her collection had an ease to it that is typically absent in a couture collection, save for what Bouchra Jarrar used to conjure. After eight years absent from the couture calendar, Givenchy’s proposition was so crystal-clear, so effortless, and so in line with what real women want to wear that its revival could not have been more timely.