Utility, tailoring, glamour, chic – Clare Waight Keller‘s pre-fall 2020 collection for Givenchy has it all. One of Waight Keller’s strengths has always been her woman’s understanding of “lived” fashion – the wisdom accumulated by a designer who has to make sense of her own wardrobe, 24/7. Endless round of packing, traveling, and quick changes of clothes is familiar to every woman who has a professional life (and not only). In this collection, she’s taken an intelligent approach to tackling the silliness of one-wear evening dressing by suggesting, for example, how a very French, Givenchy-esque black dress with gold buttons on one shoulder can be worn over a pair of tuxedo pants. Or again, how those same trousers can go under a short, strapless tailored dress to create a chic tunic look. Other than the “smartness” behind the line-up, the designer took some first steps towards an enviroinment-focused approach for Givenchy. The collection uses permeable fabrics, some of which are organic and recycled. Sustainability is “very much top of mind” for her. One of the ways she’s tackling the issue is by aiming to build more versatility and longevity into her collections. “We need to wear our clothes for longer. It’s the throwaway aspect [of fashion] which is destructive. So the thought process, particularly in women’s, is to have a quieter sense of permanence. And I like the idea that so many of the pieces can be relayered.” In case of this one particular collection, the mission is well completed.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.