Clare Waight Keller sent a collection that subverted gender lines down the runway in Paris tonight
Tonight in Paris, we headed to the city’s Palais de Justice to see what Clare Waight Keller had in store for us at Givenchy. The designer was intent on blurring gender lines, with a show that saw ‘woman and man mirror and morph, and codes and cultures collide’. Here’s everything you need to know.
THE IDEA OF MIRRORING WAS KEY
Upon entering the venue, guests walked down long blacked out corridors, illuminated only by beams of light which were bounced off mirrors. There was a reason for this – the collection itself was called ‘I Am Your Mirror’, in reference to the collection’s blurred gender lines.
BUT THERE WERE SOME OTHER CULT INSPIRATIONS, TOO
According to the show’s notes, Clare Waight Keller was inspired by Annemarie Schwarzenbach, an androgynous, bisexual journalist and photographer brought up by her parents as a boy in the early 1900s, and, in fact, opening model Karolin Wolter bore a more than passing resemblance to her. Also referenced were Lou Reed and Nico of The Velvet Underground.
THE COLLECTION ITSELF WAS PRETTY ANDROGYNOUS
Following in Karolin’s footsteps. the first few models appeared on the runway wearing loose silk shirts tucked into high-waisted, fluid trousers and chic cargo pants, before these made way for more overtly feminine pleated midi-dresses and cut-out gowns, many of which were paired with opaque tights and pointed mules. Then came the boys, in boxy, safari-style suits in shades of camel and pale lilac, belted trench coats, and leather trousers and waistcoats.
THERE WERE SOME V COVETABLE ACCESSORIES
Including big clutches with ‘Givenchy’ emblazoned straps, small, structured leather bags, and embossed drawstring totes. Also on the line-up were thick leather belts, which were used to cinch in trenches and dresses, long, beaded earrings for both the girls and the boys, and big, crystal embellished aviator glasses.
IT ENDED WITH SOME SERIOUS SPARKLE
But then, a Givenchy show wouldn’t be a Givenchy show without some after-dark drama. In amongst panelled, pleated floor-sweeping gowns and cut-out trouser and top sets were a series of seriously sparkly dresses, including full-length beaded sheaths, minis with long, fringed shoulders, and sequined suit jackets and slim trousers for the boys.