Givenchy unveiled its new collection on Sunday evening at Paris La Défense Arena. Creative director Matthew M. Williams made it a show of men’s and women’s clothing combined with strong feminine silhouettes and a nod to American Parisian influences. For his second parade for Givenchy, the American designer seems to have found his place with the brand.
Williams is a renowned streetwear designer even before the days of Givenchy, and his home collections are anything but similar to those of the house’s former creative director. Clare Waight Keller showcased quintessential Parisian femininity in her collections, while Williams offers edgy looks with strong street and comfort influences.
The designs for pants, hoodies, trench coats and loose dresses featured a color palette of dark green, black and shades of brown. “I really wanted to create a synthesis of powerful and sophisticated femininity, with a play of multiple American and Parisian influences, sport and craftsmanship. Beside her stands a contemporary man with an instinct for chic nonchalance. On the track, both are grounded in a sense of reality,” Williams shared in internal memos.
Among the stars sitting in the front row watching models, including Bella Hadid, were Venus Williams, Paris Jackson, Naomie Harris, Kehlani, Anitta, Diplo, A$AP Ferg and Lil Dre.
Drawing inspiration from the house’s heritage, Williams drew on founder Hubert de Givenchy’s haute couture archives to create the collection. He reinvented the ocelot prints of 1955, which are overdyed and then applied to men’s outerwear. “The black thistle embroideries – next to the pearl, the thistle is the motif of the collection and is also featured in the prints – are in fact painstakingly handmade from goose feathers and are also carried over to the jewelery and shoes,” read the show’s notes.
A plethora of leathers in the collection give structure to pieces with trousers, outerwear, handbags and the house’s signature stretch boots, all of which give the woman who wears Givenchy an edge. The TK360 mesh trainers offer a sporty look when paired with new collectibles.
Two days before the show, on March 4, Guram Gvasalia – holding his VTMNTS AW22 show in a former Monoprix grocery store – did something different as a designer. Located on Boulevard Raspail, the space closed during the pandemic, and for Gvasalia it was a way to revive a space that is no longer in use. The collection was intended, according to the show’s notes, for those who “don’t want to identify as male or female.”
The stage set for the show was on two levels, with a single row of seats to allow everyone to be positioned in the front row. Guests included fashion designer Rick Owens and his wife, Michèle Lamy. As the powerful beat of the music began, the models began to descend onto the runway.
VTMNTS is different from Vetements, although both are overseen by Gvasalia. While Vetements focuses on deconstructed silhouettes, VTMNTS emphasizes constructing garments using technology. Anchored in couture, Gvasalia used new techniques by raising the shoulders. The iconic frame’s piped detail is paired with classic pantaloons and invisible concealed zippers that open and move as the wearer walks. The raw-edged collection includes textiles ranging from denim and nappa leather to cashmere.