I'm probably the last person who should tackle this collection. I was an apprentice under Givenchy when he still drove the bus. Though I was only 21 at the time and could see that the collection needed to shift into 5th, I still was acutely aware of his mastery and the absolute rigor of his eye and taste. It was a glorious experience to sit and watch his Haute Couture collections take shape. Well, time passes and the freight train that is Fashion morphs into a bullet train that waits for no one.
Riccardo Tisci , the present conductor has always been an anomaly to me. I've rarely "gotten" what melody he's humming. The chords are constantly shifting and there is little of his tune I grasp or follow. This season's Haute Couture collection is another riff that to a large degree escapes me. When I read about the press hailing his mastery of the Pret a Porter and now his supposed firm grip on the wheel of the Couture, I wonder which track are they racing on. Is it the train that pulls onto Platform 9 3/4 ? It's a mystery.
Looking at this collection, I see some great details but very little that reads as a whole. The atelier at Givenchy are still run by master tailors and drapers. There doesn't seem to be enough fuel being pumped to their very capable hands. Some of the jackets are beautiful, especially the one with ostrich feathers spilling out underneath. Is it Tisci's brilliance as a tailor that makes the shape so clear, sharp and pleasing? Or is it an amazing director of the Atelier for tailored pieces having a chance to flex his muscles. I'd love to say the same for the genius women in charge of Flou. They are shortchanged. The one dress that was layers of spiral cut ruffles of satin organza was an opportunity to show that atelier's skill. His ability to design with abstract patterned lace is quite good. It's something I've always looked for an appreciated. The 2 evening looks in black are perfect examples.
More of the time, Tisci's efforts strike me as amateurish and heavy handed. Vulgarity is too often the quality that taints the collection. The first look is a dress that no woman with a healthy self respect would wear in public. I have little patience or any interest in clothes that neither fit or elevate women. The last gown doesn't fit....that just doesn't fly when it's the Couture.
On the Street….Before Chanel, Paris
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