Clare Waight Keller puts Givenchy back into the spotlight – I doubt I’ve got to remind you who dressed Meghan Markle for her wedding day. But Clare’s latest collection – the haute couture one – establishes her even further as the right person behind the label found by the late master of chic and elegance, Hubert de Givenchy. It was a magnificient tribute to the man, who built the image of Audrey Hepburn and was one of the most crucial pillars of 20th century fashion. After his death in February, the brand – and it’s creative director – were sure that the genius has to be embraced to the fullest. “Having met him, and the fact that he passed three months ago, he felt very present in my mind; his legacy felt like something that needed to be celebrated,” she said backstage. “Everybody knows his work with Audrey. But less so the capes, the peekaboos, the architecture, the flou. . . . It was a wonderful trip for me to discover it and reinterpret it my way.”
It’s true – there’s so much connected to Givenchy in fact, and Waight Keller refreshed that to the contemporary audience. The iconic LBD (Little Black Dress!) was there, but with a hood (which could have been a modern Breakfast at Tiffany’s look to wear to be honest); this spectacular, caped ivory gown accessorized with a silver metal harness appeared; delightful plissé silk and sophisticated draping were present in nearly every look (Hubert would adore that); meticulous embroideries and feather aplications were as well on the runway, in excess. The collection was rich in references, but Clare didn’t get trapped by them at all. In overall, it was a refined, glorious line-up that makes you reassured of one thing – Hubert De Givenchy’s creations are timeless, and people like Waight Keller are talented enough to make them look desirable and modern.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Julie De Libran, who successfully leads Sonia Rykiel for the last couple of years under her creative direction, decided to enter a new field with the brand – just on time of its 50th anniversary. Opening a haute couture line felt quite unexpected, since the founder of the house never really ventured into such bourgeois echelons of fashion. However, to a surprise of many, the collection represented everything that Rykiel stood in the past, and stands for today: female independence; easiness; joie de vivre. At first, I found this collection as lacking edit. But when I looked at it again, I noticed all of its true grace. From that evening gown with black feather insert and a huge blue ribbon belt that Kristen Owen wore to Małgosia Bela’s fringed knitted vest-dress, those one-of-a-kind pieces looked frivolous and chic. Note that over-sized cardigan made of different yarns (styled with see-through dress) – gorgeous, isn’t it? The only point of the collection that could have been done differently was the closing look, bride look spefically, which was basically a Martin Margiela knock-off from 1991. Even though De Libran had good intentions – to convey the spirit of a liberated wedding look, with denim and feathers – it’s important to give credit where credit’s due.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.