Out to the farthest reaches of Paris for Givenchy. The journey was a real killjoy at rush hour but the venue was fabulous. I do love it when the shows are in venues without walls, so everyone can see in. There was Christian Lacroix sitting front row and being kissed by everyone who queued up to wish him well. He really is a gentle and gracious human being. He snuggled up to Astrid Munoz, who in turn snuggled up to a 5 months pregnant and very smiley Roisin Murphy. She is thrilled to have a little Libra or Scorpio on the way but was still wearing her super sharp Givenchy suit.
The show kicked off with some very black looks: long curvy coat dresses with equestrian swagger and fluttering hoods. Black harem pants with corseted waists and sheer hoods had gold face masks, like sequined niqabs underneath. Is this a nod to the couture clientele that has survived the credit crunch with budget intact? The black gave way to some delicate flesh coloured gowns decorated with bold fluorescent beaded studs. And the equestrian theme continued through cream beaded riding skirts slung over black under layers.
Designer Riccardo Tisci has been dressing Madonna for her Sticky & Sweet tour and was working on outfits for Michael Jackson's 02 gigs. He gets the idea of luxury with rock and roll attitude better than anybody. It looked romantic and dramatic and couture for a very contemporary client. One of my favourite bits was realising that the clippety cloppety back beat to the soundtrack was actually being supplied by real men, in black suits, standing on pedestals, behind the audience, with what looked like metal maracas.
Looked like an almost therapeutic way to bide your time at a fashion show.
- Paula Reed