Riccardo Tisci Names Givenchy's 'New Audrey Hepburns'

18 August 2010

What does the name Givenchy make you think of? Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's? Or a goth-tastic Courtney Love?

Like many reinvented heritage labels, the famous French couture house has passed from the eponymous founder to a young bright new talent; Italian Riccardo Tisci. And naturally, he has his own friends and muses to inspire him.

Of course, La Hepburn, perhaps one of the most famous and successful muses of all time, is a very tough act to follow. So which ladies (and gentleman, and erm, both) has Givenchy's creative director chosen to step into her tiny, kitten-heeled shoes?

Tisci reveals in the forthcoming issue of W magazine "I have what Hubert used to have Audrey [Hepburn]. Mariacarla [Boscono], Lea [T], Marina [Abramovic], Courtney [Love], Antony [Hegarty] of Antony And The Johnsons — they're my Audrey."

So for those who don't know, we give you the low-down on Givenchy's New Audreys...

Mariacarla Boscono
Italian model. She is not only the official muse of maison Givenchy, and has appeared in many of the label's ad campaigns, but is thought to have helped with Tisci's appointment at the house, having helped him pull together the show for his last collection as a solo designer which impressed the powers-that-be at Givenchy enough to give him the top job.

Lea T
Tisci's in-house fit model at Givenchy. Lea (above left) is a transgender model who started out in life as the son of a Brazilian footballer. She worked as Tisci's personal assistant before the designer spotted her potential as a model, telling WWD; 'Lea has innate elegance - she's a true goddess! She's always very feminine - super-fragile, very aristocratic. She's part of the family.'

She currently appears as one of the models in the A/W '10 ad campaign for Givenchy ready-to-wear.

Marina Abramovic
Artist. The pair met when Tisci was editing an issue of a French magazine and commissioned Abramovic contribute a piece. He sent her a couture ball gown to say thank you, which Abramovic consequently destroyed in a waterfall in Laos as part of a performance art piece, sending photographic evidence to Tisci, who was delighted, and a beautiful fashiony friendship was born; Tisci told the FT "I was sent a box full of these pictures, and I couldn’t believe it. Because it was so clean – water, daylight, a woman with her face scrubbed clear of makeup – but also so dark. She ruined this thing, and the combination made something else altogether, which is what I think the relationship of fashion and art should be. That’s when I thought: I’ve found my soul mate".

Courtney Love
Rock legend. Love was named by Tisci as the inspiration for his designs; 'When I met her she became my muse. I design with Courtney in mind in a way – you really want to design for a woman like that. She’s got soul. She’s super rock’n’roll but at the same time, super intelligent. I love strong women with a lot to say, and she has a lot to say...Sometimes when you meet your icons you’re scared you’re going to be disappointed, but when I met Courtney I was even more in love because she can talk about everything, from art to fashion to music. I dressed her around two years ago; the first look was this blue suede couture coat with a muslin dress underneath. The next day she appeared in the press in this leopard-print Givenchy outfit with black degrade from the jacket down. It’s important that you wear what you really feel it’s good for you to wear. Age doesn’t matter, sometimes you see girls who are 20, wearing clothes that could belong to a woman of 50, and sometimes you see a woman of 50 dressing young and they look really good. It depends how they carry the clothes. This is what I love about Courtney – when she puts on clothes, they become Courtney Love.'

Love played live with her band at a Givenchy couture after show party in 2007, wearing an embroidered white dress from the collection, and declared: 'You have not lived until you’ve seen Suzy Menkes and Karl Lagerfeld moshing in front of you while you’re playing rock in a couture [Givenchy] dress.'

Antony Hegarty
Androgynous lead singer of the band Antony and the Johnsons. Tisci has created many pieces for the eccentrically-dressed singer, including a couture coat for his 2009 summer tour; Hegarty recalls: 'I told him my cat had died, and he made me this beautiful coat. It had hundreds of layers of felt separated by pearls, and it was layered to form the impression of a cat’s head curling around my shoulder. And on the back were all these skeletal plumes. It felt so personal.'



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