Monday, 4 March 2013
GIVENCHY A/W 2013
Fashion is a notoriously fickle industry, so it comes as no surprise that the designer that was once Givenchy's golden boy has faced a sort-of backlash as of late. Arguably more famous for his menswear collections - A$AP Rocky and Kanye West were amongst the hoards of celebrities that were seen in the iconic Birds of Paradise print, Riccardo Tisci's latest womenswear collection has succeeded in dividing opinion in a way that is rarely seen.
The first thing to acknowledge is that the collection was by no means perfect. Some of the styling was questionable - for example the mid-calf length snakeskin boots weren't always flattering, and although it's understandable that Tisci was aiming for a juxtaposition between oversized sweaters and delicate, sheer skirts, the combination of this and jackets tied around waists occasionally added bulk when it wasn't needed and led to a top-heavy silhouette. There were also claims that some of the designs felt rehashed, and it is of course true that this is not the first collection in which Givenchy has shown leather skirts and silk-screened jumpers, but every designer has their own signature aesthetic and it seems unfair that people are using this consistency in image as a criticism.
On the other hand, as individual garments, some of the pieces were stunning - a series of gold-printed chiffon shirts and flowing maxi-skirts were reminiscent of Versace in its heyday, and the collection showed a more romantic side of Tisci that we rarely see. There were also nods towards a more playful side of Tisci's persona - the decision to place Disney favourite Bambi on the front of jumpers will undoubtedly spark another cult designer item to add to Givenchy's repertoire. The music provided by Antony & The Johnsons created a mood that was subdued and romantic, in stark contrast to the gothic collections that the house is renowned for, and the collection as a whole definitely showed progression towards a softer, more feminine aesthetic.
On the whole, although the collection was far from perfect, there were some truly beautiful pieces and Tisci's aim at creating a romantic scene to showcase the collection was extremely successful. Some of the criticism of the collection is justified - some of the styling did miss the mark, but Tisci's vision came through clearly despite a few missteps. To say that there was no progression in the house's aesthetic is unfair - although the iconography and gothic undertones were still present, for once there was light amongst the darkness. It may not have been the greatest show of Tisci's career, but it is definitely one that deserves recognition.