Givenchy‘s Clare Waight Keller tries new things, leaving behind her past aesthetic of flou dresses and flowing, feminine silhouettes. This English designer moved to New York in 1993 for a job at Calvin Klein. At the time, Kate Moss was on the runways wearing slip dresses and streamlined black tailoring, and studio assistants wore Birkenstocks. Helmut Lang was the city’s growing obsession. “When I arrived in New York, I was very much a tomboy, and there was this raw, boyish energy,” Waight Keller said backstage of her spring-summer 2020 line-up. Givenchy being a French house, she’s set up her new collection as a conversation between the minimalist New York she remembers circa ’93 and the much more exuberant Paris she visited at the time, which was still recovering from the couture excesses of the ’80s. Her new season line-up is good enough to exist without that background: slim jackets paired with Bermuda-length shorts; denim, from short shorts to holey jeans to a V-neck dress made from two different colored washes (the show notes described the jeans’ ’90s vintage upcycled fabric “pointing to a conscious future”); turtleneck blouses in shades of curcuma and lilac; beige leathers used in tank-tops, coat-dresses and maxi-skirts. Apart for florals, this was an unexpectedly minimalist version of Waight Keller. As always with Claire, I’m not sure what exactly her distinct Givenchy look is (the collection’s appeal is mainly caused by Suzanne Koller’s eternally chic styling). Still, it’s not bad.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.