Givenchy Explores Contradictions in 90s Fashion for SS20

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In the early 90s, Clare Waight Keller found herself experiencing two different worlds: the grungy downtown NYC scene and the high-octane glamour of Paris. On opposing sides, designers like Calvin Klein and Azzedine Alaïa represented two very different fashion camps. It was this tension – between minimalism and maximalism – that Waight Keller found her stride at Givenchy for Spring/Summer 2020.

While it made for a vision that felt less cohesive, that was the whole point.

While it made for a vision that felt less cohesive, that was the whole point. Instead of focusing on the ultra-luxe aspects of her previous Givenchy offerings, Waight Keller was injecting herself into the mix. It was a nice change of pace, and brought some of the streetwear elements back to the Givenchy runway.

Photo: Courtesy of Imaxtree

Sometimes, her intentional contradictions took place on a single look, as in the case of her ripped denim skirts paired with feminine Victorian blouses; at other times, it alternated between looks. There were polished tie-front crumb catchers, crisp blazers, and breezy dresses covered in wallpaper prints, which sat next to leather bustiers, bulky forest green leather skirts that bunched and gathered at the waist – worn over trousers no less – and lots and lots of shredded denim.

We made a mental checklist of favorites: boxy suit jackets, pixelated houndstooth suits, bleach-stained shorts, crocheted one-shoulder sweaters, and tabard tops. We also had our eye on the collection’s fantastic array of accessories: a new slouchy triple pouch bag, sandals raised on radial columns, and sculpted cuffs which all added fresh geometry to the Givenchy line-up. While the term “90s fashion” has some pretty instantaneous associations, it was refreshing to get a whole new perspective on it, from someone who actually lived through both of its diverging fashion timelines.

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