PFW: Givenchy S/S 2017

Givenchy S/S 17
Givenchy Spring/Summer 2017. Photo credit: Monica Fuedi

Someone thought it would be a good idea to stage tonight’s Givenchy presentation on the lawn of the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle. Perhaps the museum didn’t want all those American pseudo-celebrities traipsing and tripping through their exhibits. Possibly, someone thought it would be warmer. Whatever the reasoning was behind putting a presentation outdoors, at night, after dark, they were wrong. It wasn’t refreshing, or cozy, or romantic. It was COLD.

Fortunately, someone, probably an intern, bothered to check the weather forecast and picked up a truckload of shiny silver emergency heat blankets, the kind developed to trap body heat in space. Those were passed out to anyone who wanted one. Not surprisingly, almost every editor and buyer took one, wrapping them around their carefully considered styles. The effect was to make it appear as though a couple hundred giant baked potatoes had been set along the reflective runway. It was a mere 12° Celsius when the show finally kicked off. Appreciating fashion is difficult when one’s teeth are chattering.

As for the clothes themselves, it’s rather obvious that agates, cut into sections and polished, were the inspiration for this season’s designs. We see them first in the somewhat abstract prints, bright, fiery reds on pink chiffon looking almost like sunbursts, or possibly tie-die. We see them next hanging on necessarily large chains around the necks of models. The look is cool and largely attractive, though I’m guessing that much weight around the neck grows tiresome after a while. There was also one that reminded me more of a pork chop. Not all agates are created equally.

Tisci’s translation of the geologic wonders resulted in some incredible prints, at times fiery and abstract before becoming simplified into round colored polka dots. Solid colored pieces seem almost boring by comparison, though, in fact, they are very similar to his couture collection for this fall. What’s interesting is that in keeping with the color palette of the agates, the collection looks more like an autumn/winter collection full of deep reds, burnt orange, and dusty yellows all framed by dark brown. Yet, the fabrics, except for the leather, tended to be extremely light. I can only imagine the models were really feeling the chill as the temperatures fell a couple more degrees as the show progressed. At least they were all wearing pastel socks so their feet wouldn’t get cold.

Unfortunately, as exciting as the prints are, there’s not a lot new in terms of silhouettes. There is some lace peplum surrounded by matching saddle bags on one look. In fact, pockets on all the jackets are on the large side. Other than that, though, if there was anything exciting in the details it was too dark to see them, even in the still photographs. Perhaps Ricardo was too distracted by the prints and accessories, which would be understandable. Those are really some very intriguing patterns.

This is one of those collections where it’s the prints, not the design of the clothes, that are the most attractive. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. We can accept that approach for one season and not worry.  I’m fairly confident Tisci will come back with something stronger in February. The collection isn’t overwhelming, but it will hold its own in stores.

What’s disappointing is how guests behaved after the show, many leaving their reflective blankets on the ground, even all the way out in the parking lot. Shortly after the show was finished, the museum grounds were reminiscent of the living room carpet just after removing the Christmas tree from the house, strands of tinsel littering the floor. I understand Givenchy not asking for them back, but for guests to leave them strewn across the lawn is the very essence of pretentious, privileged, rudeness.

Sadly, all the external factors such as temperature and environment rather overwhelmed the fashion show. Tisci’s work is almost always impressive and deserves a better setting than they had tonight. Let’s just hope they don’t go for a repeat performance in February. Brrrrrrrr.

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