Some of Hollywood’s most sought-after actresses flew into Paris for a glimpse of the new chapter of the storied fashion house of Givenchy. The debut show by designer Clare Waight Keller, one of the hottest tickets at Paris Fashion Week this season, drew Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara and Julianne Moore. Meanwhile, Phoebe Philo showed her Spring/Summer 2018 offerings for Celine and Demna Gvasalia for his cult rendition of storied design house Balenciaga.
GIVENCHY’S NEW CHAPTER
"In a season of debuts, Givenchy’s was surely the crowning show," wrote the Associated Press on Sunday. In a hand-written note signed “Clare,” Givenchy’s new designer gave guests some hints at what is to come now that she has taken the reigns from longtime creative head Riccardo Tisci. “Seduction is key. The most seductive things are not seen, but merely imagined,” Keller wrote.
This subtle yet powerful mantra was used with grace by the British designer who created a collection of fluttery, sensual gowns that moved the once-dark, brooding house into distinctly more feminine terrain.
Black and white were the touchstones as the display began with a printed silk dress with frothy panels around the shoulder and the leg. A blurry three-leaf clover motif shifted sizes. In another stylish printed gown, a shoulder was exposed with uneven segments of silk gently cascading down the body. In a midnight blue peaked shoulder coat, color was introduced with a sexy, sheer décolleté and a 70s jabot collar.
For men, a shimmering metallic tuxedo led the looks that signaled that Waight Keller aims to lead the house in a saleable, more classical direction.
Am I resistant to change or did this collection make it difficult to feel pleased about the changing of the guard? Sure Tisci's final few collections for Givenchy were more misses than hits, but he sure could command a runway with his delectable garments and accessories.
THE EVER-APPEALING CELINE
It was the suit, but not as you know it. Celine’s ever-imaginative designer Phoebe Philo was at the top of her game Sunday in a collection that took the everyday sartorial styles of London’s Saville Row and abstracted them.
A laurel green suit suddenly lost its buttons, lapels and fit — and hung loosely in a minimalist style from a model with a man’s hair style. Suit pants in battleship gray were fashioned so baggy they lost the model underneath. A sage coat inspired by a trench coat had 3-meter (9-foot) tubular arms that hooped round at the bottom.
Elsewhere, oversize waistcoats hung asymmetrically down with a surreal, flat minimalist front and cascading undergarments that added a visual kinesis. Voluminous black leather wading-boot-heels gave the look a inimitable trendy feel.
As for whether the rumors are true that Philo is once again readying for her swan song, there was something different in the air here.
DEMNA DOES BALENCIAGA
And as usual, Demna Gvasalia sent his take on Balenciaga down the runway with an array of references ranging from the American dollar bill to Chanel-looking quilted bags and wait for it ... platformed Crocs.