Givenchy Haute Couture Fall 2010
“The history of haute couture is studded with magnificent obsessives like Cristobal Balenciaga and Charles James. Even if Riccardo Tisci’s name never makes it onto that list, his latest Couture collection for Givenchy proved that he shares the grandmasters’ fanatical devotion to realizing an intensely personal vision through cut, cloth, and, in Tisci’s case, extraordinarily elaborate ornamentation.”
“The darkest color in the collection was the chocolate brown on those feathers. Otherwise, everything was white, flesh-colored, or gold, with a salon dedicated to each shade. Even the baboon fur that was attached to a swallowtailed knit jacket was spookily bleached. Fact is, Tisci didn’t need black to exercise his gothic inclinations. He claimed his inspiration was Frida Kahlo and her three obsessions: religion, sensuality, and, given the painter’s lifelong battle with spinal pain, the human anatomy. The zipper pulls were little bones, a belt was a spinal column re-created in porcelain. The dominant motif of the collection was the skeleton, laid out flat in the lace appliquéd on a long tulle column, or rendered in three dimensions in obsessively dense clusters of crystals, pearls, and lace on the back of a jacket in double silk duchesse satin. Nestled in the middle? A tiny ceramic skull sprouting angel wings. At one point during his presentation, Tisci rather tellingly muttered, “A romantic way to see death.”
If only death was such a gaudy, bedazzled affair, then we all wouldn’t fear it so much. To be honest, we appreciate the artistry of the vision and the stunning craftsmanship, but there’s something a bit off-putting about the whole thing. And really, it’s not because of the death theme. It’s because everything here is just so overdone and impractical. And yes, we should probably have our wrists slapped by Anna Wintour for even thinking of using those two words in a couture discussion, since their opposites, understated and practical, aren’t exactly the goal of the couturier. Still, there are degrees, and we think with this collection we may have reached our limit on what to expect. We respect and appreciate the vision and the techniques used to realize it. The problem is, we just don’t like the end result very much. Baboon fur? Seriously?
[Photo Credit: givenchy.com]