Clare Waight Keller nails it lately at Givenchy. Her men’s autumn-winter 2019, presented for the first time separately from women’s, proves that she feels more and more confident in creating a guy’s wardrobe. “I went into my own self, really, back into the ’90s, and how I felt when I was really young, how we’d dress on not a lot of money. At Givenchy we have young Parisians from schools here, and there’s this same perverse poshness, wearing tailoring in a really sharp way, with a shirt or T-shirt,” she said during the intimate presentation that took place in Paris today. “Quite clean, really.” Polished, slim-fit trousers and leather jackets dangerously looked like Hedi Slimane’s Celine, but the other part of the collection – the more elegant – is where you can completely loose your mind for. This tailoring. See the flared trousers, that came in deep red, cerulean blue and dark purple. Waight Keller attributed them to the “softness and fluidity I like for men”. Some looks had a sensually highlighted waist, something that’s having a graceful return to menswear. There was lots of elevated sportwear, but nothing will beat this one, simple look made up of a white shirt, just partially tucked into the waisted suitspants. Less is more is a cliché, I know, but in case of Waight Keller’s Givenchy, it’s just right.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Clare Waight Keller continues to thrive at helm of Givenchy, and the pre-fall 2019 collection of hers proves that very, very well. For the collection, Clare chose the myth of Icarus as her message and included various allusions to deities, minotaurs, the sky, and the sea. “Mythology always seems to capture people’s imagination. There’s a dreamlike element, but it’s also grounded in something pertinent,” she explained. However, the designer didn’t go too literal with it. The ostrich-feathered tunic and the wing-like protrusions of a yellow minidress might have nodded to the mythological fallen hero. But then, you can equally treat them as some very, very chic eveningwear. The line-up, featuring Waight Keller’s favourite model, Veronka Kunz, and other Givenchy muses, was all about simple cuts that brought a sharp, distinct look. The exaggerated, short blazers or voluminous faux fur coats are my highlights.
Collages by Edward Kanarecki.
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.