PFW A/W '11 Report - Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci

07 March 2011

Front row sat Florence Welch who is fast becoming an icon of the house of Givenchy. The runway was punctuated with arches of purple orchids and irises. And from somewhere on high clouds of fragrance were being sprayed onto the crowd (Iris! Natch!). It was all quite seductive in the dark room. Givenchy is a hot ticket this season, not least because designer Riccardo Tisci’s name keeps re-surfacing as a rumoured contender for the job at Christian Dior.

Suddenly the lights went out and the roar of a big cat reverberated around the room. I wouldn’t put any crazy stunt past the fashion industry, so was glad our row was near an exit. One short leap over the sound desk and we could be out if that thing got off its leash. Luckily it was only a soundtrack. But Riccardo Tisci’s show for Givenchy was pretty fierce all the same.

Come winter we are all back in black people. Fashion’s flirtation with colour was evidently a passing phase. The Tisci message could be distilled into 5 key pieces: a bomber jacket (stiff leather or velvet), a pencil skirt (cut in six vertical seams curved around the bottom and kicked out into kick pleats at the hem), sweat shirts (as an option to the bomber jacket over those slim skirts) cut in inky velvet or heavy double face crepe detailed with chunky zips at the shoulder, a peaked cap (cats ears optional) and heavy framed black spectacles.

The big cats and heady blooms resurfaced as printed motifs on sweatshirts and jackets. Big cats heads were reversed in fur out of velvet jackets, big cats heads were woven into organza shirts and skirts for a play on transparency, irises and orchids appeared as inky printed motifs on sweatshirts and as the basis of baroque prints on satin A line skirts. 

Old friends of the house Karen Elson and Natalia Vodionova (fresh from a charity half marathon) closed the show.

Keeping your catwalk message  clear and simple pays huge dividends. This was a show that created a powerful impression from beginning to end.

- Paula Reed in Paris


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