Clare Waight Keller continues to impress with her second collection for Givenchy
FASHION INSIDERS had been watching to see who would fill the shoes Ricardo Tisci vacated at Givenchy, before the French maison announced Clare Waight Keller would take over the design reins. She has sound credentials, having served as creative director at Chloé and worked with Tom Ford. At the SS18 shows, everyone watched intently as Keller presented her debut collection for Givenchy and gave praise. But they also asked: can she sustain it?
Pa y Proper
For AW18, Keller chose “Night Noir” as the theme, evoking the party scene of the ’70s disco era in which David Bowie, Andy Warhol, Jimi Hendrix and Debbie Harry were denizens. When the fashion show was streamed live, Keller demonstrated beyond a doubt that she has plenty more up her sleeve to pull out, even though it was a different kind of magic card to Tisci’s street vibe. Flouncy dresses get a gothic edge. Tailored looks got sharper. Throughout the men’s and women’s collections, the right amount of elegance prevailed, keeping up with the DNA of Givenchy.
Holding Up to Scrutiny
It wasn’t until a regional press event in Hong Kong last month that I was able to see the collection in closer scrutiny. Set in an austere corner of the Maritime Museum, punctuated with well-placed shrubbery, the pieces truly shone. And surprised.
As a nod at the athleisure trend, scuba gear was admitted into the collection in the form of Givenchy-branded rash guards and tights, layered under hefty tailored coats. The JAW shoes, inspired by the 1975 shark film of the same name, made quite the splash with its chunky silhouette that is all the rage today. They look very likely to be the brand’s next best-seller. Classic suits were tailored with perfection, as you would expect from Givenchy. Among these, the one the brand insiders fondly call “oily blue” stood out with its sleek sheen.
Overall, the collection exhibited finesse, stylishness and an all-too-cool attitude that any pop icon would love to pull on. Clare Waight Keller isn’t Ricardo Tisci, nor does she try to be, but it’s clear she has chosen her own way to make Monsieur Hubert de Givenchy proud. AM
“WITH HER SECOND COLLECTION FOR GIVENCHY, KELLER SHOWED BEYOND A DOUBT THAT SHE HAS PLENTY MORE UP HER SLEEVE TO PULL OUT”