Givenchy’s Balancing Act

12 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A First For Fashion.

NEW YORK (AP) — On a dystopian set with One World Trade Center beaming its blue light into the night sky this Sept. 11, Givenchy took Manhattan on a pier Friday before a star-studded crowd, remembering tragedy and celebrating fashion at the same time.For Givenchy’s first show at a New York fashion week on Friday evening – 11 September, the anniversary of the city’s 2001 terror attacks – it must have been tempting for creative director Riccardo Tisci to send out a collection packed full of stars and stripes. Riccardo Tisci, the French fashion house’s creative director, worked with performance artist Marina Abramovic on the Waterworld-esque set of walls made of recycled metal and wooden shards, seating his huge crowd on stacked wooden pallets and benches as models walked in looks of mostly black and white.

The long-anticipated show began on Pier 26 just as the sun was setting, and the Memorial of Light commemorating the Twin Towers lit up in the background. The cast list garnered by LVMH in its bid to take Manhattan was astounding in its scale, ranging from Hollywood royalty — Julia Roberts, Christina Ricci and the director Pedro Almodóvar — to pop princesses present, like Nicki Minaj and Ciara, and past, namely Courtney Love. This is a man full of surprises – one who put Donatella Versace in his advertising campaigns and almost single-handedly made the sweater a high fashion staple.

In an environment created from all recycled materials and debris — mainly wooden shipping pallets — Tisci showed an enormous collection — 84 looks — on an enormous collection of models (84 to be exact). Here, he kept the Americanisms to the minimum – an abstracted American flag in shiny black appeared on the black jackets of suits worn by male models, a whisper rather than a scream.

They were joined, among others, by Julia Roberts in a T-shirt adorned with Tisci’s face, Uma Thurman, Christina Ricci, Margot Robbie and Nicki Minaj, who was in a body-hugging animal print dress. Instead of pure patriotism, Tisci’s American Dream was about bringing different cultures together – something that makes sense to those who know the Italian-born designer as a rare voice pushing diversity in fashion, across race and gender. Because of the location of the show, Pier 26, is significant because of its position and clear view on the Freedom Tower.” Her installation included a woman, standing in and out of a shower; a couple, in and out of embrace; a performer, climbing up and down a ladder; a performer seemingly dancing with a tree; and a slow walker, circling the venue while the crowd waited more than an hour for the show to start. And what spectacle would be complete these days without Kimye, who arrived to predictable mayhem — Kim sporting a sizable sheer-black-lace-clad bump — just before the lights went down. Also there were athletes Amar’e Stoudemire, Victor Cruz and Russell Westbrook (showing his own fashion line this season), and father-daughter Steven and Liv Tyler.

They were accompanied by a live musical performance that featured songs in six different languages to “unite people without discrimination,” the artist wrote. While the supermodel of the moment, Kendall Jenner, walked, Caitlyn Jenner did not, despite the rampant speculation whispered down front rows the length and breadth of Manhattan over the course of the day. Givenchy calmed the crowd, including more than 800 members of the public who received tickets to watch from the sidelines, with a soundtrack of chanting and other music honoring six cultures and religions.

If all the buzz in the build-up had been about Caitlyn Jenner attending – or possibly walking the runway – those disappointed would perhaps have been satisfied by a different kind of performance. The star-studded front row included Julia Roberts, Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Hudson, Uma Thurman, Nicky Minaj, Ciara, Michael Kors, Alexander Wang, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and more seated along the catwalk for the thousand-plus guests in attendance to ogle.

The show itself was a monochrome meditation on the art of the tuxedo, with a nod to maybe move things upstairs to the boudoir; virtually every look dripped in diamanté and lace, embroidery and fur. Some looks included eerie face adornments in lacy patterns while other models had multiple spike earrings with nodules attached at the tops of their nose bridges. The 84 looks ranged from louche loungewear to a flowing take on men’s inspired suits and tuxedos layered with lace for women to some of the most outrageously textural evening wear ever seen on these shores. Two toppled as they navigated this world, described in show notes by Abramovic as an event “about forgiveness, inclusivity, new life, hope, and above all, love.” While there were some more dramatic looks – including a beautiful gown of balled-up tulle that threatened to floor catwalk veteran Joan Smalls, and some intricately beaded headpieces – the overall takeaway was a loungey, louche aesthetic that could easily translate to what young women might wear after dark.

While there wasn’t anything entirely new here, as is often the case on a Givenchy catwalk, Tisci played up smart by sticking to a formula he has honed over those 10 years – one that brings what people wear on the street together with high fashion. The designer, a relative unknown Central Saint Martins graduate when the appointment was announced, has steered Givenchy – in the doldrums in 2005 – to its current position as arguably the Parisian fashion house with cool factor.

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