Regardless of how long you’ve (hopefully) been over Givenchy’s overwhelmingly popular and wildly priced graphic tees by now, there is no denying that Riccardo Tisci wields a consistency–and an edge–that few other designers of his scope are able to maintain with such authority. Tisci’s knack for creating consumer urgency, along with a sadly non-universal commitment to racial (if not body) diversity, have successfully turned Givenchy’s once-stuffier reputation into the street-relevant high fashion powerhouse that it is today.
Tisci’s runway presentations are always both conceptual and memorable, though the individual pieces don’t all require a taste for Swarovski-encrusted doorknocker septum rings to appreciate, even less so at Givenchy SS14. Backstage, the designer told Style.com that the collection, as well as the smoking multi-vehicle pileup in the middle of the runway, were inspired by a “car crash between the 2 cultures, the fragility of Japan and the draping of Africa.” The contrast between heavily-pieced, Kimonoesque jackets and fluid, exaggerated jersey cowls and semi-stiff rolled tubes circling the neck and chest were a well-timed departure from the leather sweatpants and cult graphics that are now as ubiquitous as they are reproduced. Smart move.
There is, however, one thing that scared us senseless about the future of Givenchy, in the wake of Kanye and Kim’s presence at the show (and Kanye’s unwavering support of the brand): this collection did look eerily like something Kanye, were he the visionary of construction and detail that he so deeply wishes to be, would design for Kim in the wake of her Yeezy-induced makeover. The plunging necklines, thick straps, defining waistbands, cutouts, hourglass-shaped jersey and tailored-but-feminine jackets and pants are all various trends we’ve seen her out and about in since her Kardashiaesthetic has become more international mogul and less Basketball Wives; let us pray that the reverse never happens to Tisci, because that would be a metaphorical car crash, indeed.