Drawing up a timeline post pandemic, Givenchy is laying down the tracks of its future, one that is highly considered as it is a celebration of individuality.
With some corners of the world seeing cracks of light seep in from the pervasive darkness that continues to consume our collective consciousness, their headspace has begun to entertain the possibilities of the future. From evolved realities in all sectors of society, as well as of a refresh in the cache of these systems, steps are now being taken to move forward. Business and economies are now opening at nearly full force in more progressive countries, travel is slowly being eased back, and in fashion, for example, there are marked triumphant returns, but in slow, steady, and safe increments. Now, the question being thrown around is, “what comes next?” And for the Matthew Williams-led house of Givenchy, the proposition is latched, locked, and loaded on a post pandemic rebellion.
Often a misunderstood word, what with the aggression that is used to antagonize the ripples of change it posits, rebellion, when addressed properly can offer an expansion for potential to take space. In this dialogue of paradigms, one that usually concerns the push and pull of the past and present, we are able to lay down the tracks for a more energized future. “In my collections, I always speak to lived reality,” says Matthew Williams of his first pre-collection show as creative director for the brand. “There’s an energy of striking out for a new adventure, of drawing on something familiar yet creating something completely new.”
Givenchy Post Pandemic
In the current context of Givenchy, one that is already imagining a timeline post pandemic, this means taking things from its accumulated DNA—the genius of Hubert de Givenchy, the grit of Ricardo Tisci, and the grace of Claire Waight Keller—and infusing it with the ideals of the incumbent master of the house. The result is a restrained offshoot of its history, a response to the generational shift, and a confident stride in this new era.
Following his cues from his introduction to the latest collection, Matthew Williams is espousing total freedom in its creations to add to the personal statements of its audience, not dictate. Where we’ve seen three-pronged footwear, horned hats, and splicing of everything from leather to seams, the expressive energy continues, this time with a more settled sense of self.
There is still a generous assemblage of sharp suiting, a quality inherent to Givenchy, as well as of its affinity for architecture and asymmetry evidenced in its parade of precision in mostly black with intrusions of white and olive. However, the big exhale of its Spring 2022 pre-collection came in the introduction. Shifting from the streets of Paris to the railroads the show was primarily set in, the selection of contrasts in patterns, silhouettes, and colors is the natural movement from an emergence of our definitive dystopia.
A cross-section of the overriding DIY convention with unlikely pairings, slashed details, and graffiti-ed prints (a successful collaboration with Mexico-based artist, Chito), the section of the show was its most relevant. Versatile in its creation, with bits and pieces able to assimilate in any unique and individual style personality, the assertion of Matthew Williams with his take on Givenchy is less intimidating than his predecessors.
Right On Track
A highlight of the post pandemic execution of Givenchy is its respect for the modern-day affinity for the hustle. With the lines of tradition being blurred, the house takes this to immediate consideration, threading transitions from spirited to strict with just a shift of a key item. Whether it be a puffed jacket, a matching painted set, or its reliable knits and outerwear, there is a lot to turn to. A favorite in this selection is its tipping to bohemian nonchalance with the weaving of a spider-like macramé overlay on street-ready essentials such as a hoodie or in the indulgent rigor of its signature bags. Crafty as it may appear, it is a value added to the juxtaposition of fragility and strength, a duality that is not only favored by designers, but a counterpoint that the market relates to as well.
For Matthew Williams and Givenchy, the future of fashion post pandemic isn’t a decisively sharp turn from what we know of today. More than anything, it is a thoughtful progression from already exists, just with a stacking of abstractions, embellishments, and shapes that will further individuality. There is no going off the rails here, just a steady paced treading into a bold territory that is the natural next destination in its glorious purpose.