With talismans and offbeat tailoring, the designer crafts a ‘sensual and powerful’ wardrobe for the women of the world
After raving it up and tripping out to psychedelic club music, Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci was on a comedown this season, restoring his mind to a spiritual place that took us to the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle at night. In the distance the last of the summer bloom was illuminated, while showgoers felt the autumnal chill, wrapped up in silver foil blankets. But taking his audience outdoors had a purpose for Tisci, because the idea of the natural world being connected with spirituality has been playing on his mind a lot lately. “Women are fighting for power not only in America but all over the world, so I wanted to do something more sensual and more powerful. And so it’s about the strength of nature.”
How did Tisci equip his women of the world to fight for power? With large discs of agate that hung from their necks from tortoiseshell chains, giving off protective vibes like amulets, and giant-pocketed and zippered suiting, which heralded a shift of silhouette for Givenchy. “It’s a different way to see the world,” said Tisci. “I’ve been doing oversized shapes and sportswear for the last eight years now so I wanted to explore new territory. There’s a new functionality in the suiting.”
“Women are fighting for power not only in America but all over the world, so I wanted to do something more sensual and more powerful” – Riccardo Tisci
The autumnal reds, oranges and pinks of the agate stones filtered through the entire collection, resulting in a myriad of striped and polka dot combo dresses that were less about nature but gave the collection a vaguely Latin American spirit. Tisci reeled off his references as if describing an daydream – the sky, clouds, water, trees, crystals and mandalas. It’s how satin and devore ruffles with hand-painted Turner-esque brush strokes made it onto zippered dresses and how crystal embellishment encrusted some of the sombre suiting towards the end. The models’ hair was slicked under and over the ears like organic tree roots.
Tisci’s own journey of spirituality was a personal one, in part inspired by the women in his life. “Being surrounded by women like Marina Abramović who believe in the power of rocks and crystals, and the power of nature to human is something that really inspired me to do this collection. We need to really look after our souls and it’s something that I’m working on myself.” As a result Givenchy finds itself in a new state of serenity, albeit still with an inherently strong attitude that Tisci can’t escape from.