Riccardo Tisci grew up in Italy dreaming of America, which has frequently fed his men’s collections for Givenchy. A book he came across detailing the obsessions of certain kids in Africa – cowboys, heavy metal – unleashed a torrent of new ideas on his fall runway. He also blended in recent travels to Morocco and Berlin, yielding a diverse and energetic collection.
The cowboys announced themselves quickly with those telltale boots, here in velvet, and the leather fringe swishing from the sleeves of coats and blousons. Tisci also made the yokes of jackets and coats his main canvas for embellishments, including patches of leather or crocodile attached by copper rivets, or simply penny-sized studs.
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The Givenchy logo came in the fonts of Metallic and Iron Maiden, along with ghostly images of skulls drifting over bomber jackets and T-shirts. Rockers are sure to join Rottweilers in Tisci’s hit T-shirt hall of fame.
The biggest surprise on the runway were the earthy colors and textures: rust-toned boiled wool for blousons; brown herringbone for sleek topcoats. Backstage, Tisci acknowledged his obsession with black – exalted on the runway with scarf-fringed cashmere jackets and velvet-piped suits – while noting that young people relate to all things eco.
Embarking on his second decade at Givenchy, Tisci seems intent on shaking things up. Here was a minimal pink runway theater lit with fluorescent tubes and new male archetype in the casting: cyborg-like models with severe Spock haircuts.
The dozen or so couture gowns he paraded also felt younger in spirit: Satin or lace lingerie numbers veiled in tulle or chiffon capes; draped jersey goddess gowns, and a dramatic cape and dress in tiny octagons of metallic snakeskin. The show climaxed with dramatic black opera coats melding leather, fur, lace and copper studs. Tisci always spikes romance with a little bit of toughness.