I don’t want to spark a mood of competitiveness, but what Natascha Ramsay-Levi did at Chloé, replacing Clare Waight Keller, and what did the latter do at Givenchy, is just incomparable. I had big hopes that once landing at Givenchy, Waight Keller might leave her boho dresses era behind and go a new path. Well, she did. But her debut collection felt just… boring. Watching it, I felt nothing. Riccardo Tisci’s very printed, pro-millennial and Kardashian-y phase has been completely wiped out (for good), but the new Givenchy feels like Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent, just a bit more ‘proper’ – a bit glam, a bit rock, a bit of ‘French chic’. In overall, you can forget majority of the looks on the next day.
According to Clare, she dived into Hubert de Givenchy’s archives to catch up with the brand’s original roots. There were references to dress silhouettes from 1961 and shades of famous pastel-blue ‘Bettina’ blouse (the ruffle-trimmed piece from 1952 that launched Hubert’s career); the iconic Little Black Dress, worn with a Givenchy tag first in ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, was rejuvenated with some pussy-bows and transparent sleeves; the lip motif, that covered mini-skirts, appeared to be also an archive find. But what’s the sense of moulding a collection out of archive codes, if in the end it looks like a line-up of very basic, commercially forward clothes (that don’t differ from many other brands, in fact)? There should be at least a bit the designer’s stamp. Oh, Clare. That was a mild debut. Big hopes for something more ‘authentic’ the next time.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.