Well children, here we are back again for another round of Fashion Weeks. Let’s all hold our collective breaths that this season is better than the ugly, drab and weirdly proportioned pieces of Fall 2015 that have plagued editorials since their debut.
We start with Givenchy, showing at NYFW this season because Ricardo Tisci wanted to show this season in New York on September 11th, as well as this being his 10 year anniversary as designer for Givenchy. Tisci, with his army of famous BFFs, is like a laconic, gay, swarthy Taylor Swift who is into power bottoms. I have definitely fallen in love with some of his past Givenchy couture shows, and some of his pieces have gone on to be icon on the red carpet and in editorials, but there has been a long drawn out feeling of reductiveness. Instead of a new, inspired collection each season, there is a lot of referencing back to past ideas that have been popular.
This season he took this to a whole other level by literally recreating past couture looks, and not from the past ten years of his tenure, rather mostly coming from his Spring 2010 collection. The reason behind this isn’t exactly clear. In fact there is so much going on here, that no direct narrative seems to present itself. The show had a funereal feeling to it, but how lingerie references mourning in this sense I am not sure. I know he meant these pants to be a part of the menswear vibe, but to me, they look like slacks. Like the Tabi brand loose, poorly tailored black slacks that women in their 40’s wear to their office jobs in Hoboken, NJ. There were boys in this show, and as Bo says “male models, gross.” Also, two models, including the human embodiment of the letter S Candice Swanepoel and another lovely young thing both fell on the runway. The first girl completely bit it, falling down the wooden steps on her knees. What do you expect is going to happen when you make models walk on flats in stilettos, too long pants, trailing ribbons and dragging shoe laces. You could later see that the model who fell’s knee was bleeding. But her and Candice both got up and kept walking like nothing had happened because these girls are goddamn professionals and know that they must go on no matter what.
Amongst all the themes and references that were incoherently bumping into each other, two strong visuals emerged. The first was Jourdan Dunn in a black gown thick with moss-like embellishment. Through her fierceness alone, JD makes this rather awkward dress work, all bold lip color and sharp cheekbones. The other strong visual were the gem and lace face masks, painstakingly glued to the faces of five models by make up genius Pat McGrath. This is one of the few things in this collection that leave an impression. Grotesque in its reptilian like texture, beautiful in the details of pearls and intricately layered lace, they are like scars, of an expression made permanent by a trauma. Perhaps this is the clearest message from this show, the idea of something in the past still leaving its influence on the present.