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Backstage at Givenchy SS20 2
Backstage at Givenchy SS20Photography Christina Fragkou

Givenchy SS20 was an ode to New York circa 1993

Clare Waight Keller presented her latest collection for the historic house in Paris tonight

Just a few hours before the SS20 Givenchy runway show took place tonight, the Parisian house posted, as it usually does, a series of teasers hinting at the inspiration behind the collection to its Instagram. This season, it was video clips of fingers pressing play on VHS and cassette players, as well as rifling through a stack of floppy discs (first seen making a comeback at the SS20 Prada menswear show, FYI) that featured. 

The message was none-too-cryptic: it didn’t take a genius to realise creative director Clare Waight Keller was throwing it back to the 90s for the new season (which is a good job, because almost of month of shows are taking their toll tbh). According to the designer, she had been inspired when looking back at a book called 90s Bitch – which delves into gender inequality and the ways in which women and girls were portrayed in the media throughout the era.

To a soundtrack of Princess Nokia, models made their way out onto the runway in a series of stripped-back looks: boxy tailored blazers were paired with buttoned-up shirts, while slick leather pencil skirts were worn with tucked-in silk camis and structured bralettes. Elsewhere, twisted, sculptural tank tops were seen alongside louche, loose trousers in shades of nude, charcoal, and black. Seemingly, the city short is back too, though how ready for that we are remains to be seen. 

Perhaps the most surprising thing that hit the runway, though, was the deconstructed and distressed denim which offset a number of looks. Having spent a number of seasons championing a thoroughly ladylike aesthetic, Waight Keller sent out shredded jeans, cut-off denim shorts, and one distinctive panelled coat, all of which were crafted from upcycled denim. Seems like spending time with Ariana is having an effect on her.