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Givenchy unveiled its newest collection from Paris’ La Défense Arena on Sunday night. Creative director Matthew M. Williams made it a show of menswear and womenswear combined with strong feminine silhouettes and a nod to American Parisian influences. In his second runway show for Givenchy, the American designer seems to have found his footing with the brand.
Williams is a renowned streetwear designer, even before his Givenchy days, and his collections for the house are anything but similar to the house’s previous creative director. Clare Waight Keller showcased quintessential Parisian femininity in her collections, while Williams offers edgy looks with strong street influences and comfort.
The designs of loosely tailored pants, hoodies, trench coats, and dresses featured a color palette of dark green, black, and shades of brown. “I really wanted to create a synthesis of powerful, sophisticated femininity, with an interplay of multiple American and Parisian influences, sports and craftsmanship. Next to her stands a contemporary man with an instinct for chic nonchalance. On the runway, both are grounded by a sense of reality,” shared Williams in house notes.
Among the stars seated in the front row watching the models, who included Bella Hadid, were Venus Williams, Paris Jackson, Naomie Harris, Kehlani, Anitta, Diplo, A$AP Ferg and Lil Dre.
Taking cues from the legacy of the house, Williams delved into founder Hubert de Givenchy’s haute couture archives to create the collection. He reimagined ocelot prints from 1955, which is over-dyed, then applied to masculine outerwear. “Black thistle embroideries – alongside the pearl, the thistle is the motif of the collection and also is featured in prints — are actually painstakingly handmade from goose feathers and are also transposed to jewelry and shoes,” read the show notes.
A plethora of leather in the collection gives structure to the pieces with included pants, outerwear, handbags and the house’s signature stretch boots, which all give an edge to the Givenchy-wearing woman. The knit TK360 sneakers offer a sporty look when paired with new collection pieces.
Two days before the show, on March 4, Guram Gvasalia — holding his VTMNTS AW22 runway show in a former Monoprix grocery store — did something different as a designer. Located on Boulevard Raspail, the space closed during the pandemic, and for Gvasalia, it made for a way to revive a space that is no longer being used. The collection was geared, according to show notes, to those who “don’t want to identify as male or female.”
The setting for the show was held on two levels, with a single row of seats to allow everyone to be positioned in the front row. Guests included fashion designer Rick Owens and his wife, Michèle Lamy. As the strong beat of the music started, the models started descending on the runway.
VTMNTS is different than Vetements, though both overseen by Gvasalia. While Vetements is focused on deconstructed silhouettes, VTMNTS puts a spotlight on constructing garments using technology. Steeped in tailoring, Gvasalia used new techniques by elevating the shoulders. The signature frame piping detail is paired with classic pants, and invisible hidden zips that open and move as the wearer walks. The raw-edged collection includes textiles from denim and napa leather to cashmere.
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