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Givenchy Couture SS20 Paris Fashion Week kaia gerber
Backstage at Givenchy Couture SS20Photography Christina Fragkou

Virginia Woolf and her lover Vita Sackville-West inspire Givenchy Couture

Clare Waight Keller sent a feminine, botanic-inflected collection (and some seriously huge hats) out onto the Paris runway last night

Where Clare Waight Keller looked to Richard Avedon’s seminal ‘Swans’ series for inspiration when it came to her feather-filled, punk-inflected AW19 Givenchy Couture offering, this time around the British designer was in a much more romantic mood. Turning to the garden for reference, she channelled inspo accumulated on a field trip to Kent's Sissinghurst Castle into a feminine, botanical SS20 collection which explored and reimagined Hubert de Givenchy’s extensive archive.  

Entitled Une Lettre D’amour, which, in case your French skills are somewhat lacking, translates to 'love letters', Waight Keller found further inspiration in the romantic correspondence poet Vita Sackville-West and lover Virginia Woolf sent each other. In fact, Sackville-West not only cultivated the garden at Sissinghurst, but also inspired Woolf to write her classic novel Orlando (which, in case you weren’t aware, is one of the key themes’s behind the upcoming 2020 Met Ball). 

When it came to the clothes themselves, SS20 saw models wearing dark floral prints emblazoned across tulip-shaped skirts, moulded, sculptural gowns crafted to look like they were made of petals, and crepe silk tailored suits edged with delicate fluttering feathers make their way down the runway as violinists sitting on chairs suspended from the ceiling played on. 

Rounding things off was Kaia Gerber, this season’s blushing bride, who closed the show in one of the collection’s OTT canopy-like hats – which were so big they could give Jacquemus a run for his money.  

Check out the full collection in the gallery above.