Givenchy opened its first American store earlier this year, and now the Paris-based brand has another big opening on the horizon, its flagship at 747 Madison Avenue at 65th Street in New York. To properly launch that space, Givenchy staged its Spring 2016 show during New York Fashion Week – in which creative director Riccardo Tisci not only showed his S/S 2016 womenswear collection but also showed menswear and haute couture.
Reflecting on the show, Booth Moore wrote for the Los Angeles Times: "A European luxury brand comes to New York City and stages a sunset fashion show on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks with the Freedom Tower as backdrop? It could have gone wrong, very wrong, but Givenchy Artistic Director Riccardo Tisci managed to orchestrate an event that was respectful, meditative, inclusive and solemnly beautiful."
Yes, the evening's show was about much more than garments - although there was no shortage of them; Tisci put a whopping 88 looks on the runway, looks for men and women almost exclusively in black and white. The womenswear - which included new looks for S/S 2016, as well as some of Mr. Tisci's most celebrated couture garments from seasons past - was heavy on lace, sheer panels, and asymmetric draping. Slip dresses dominated the collection, followed by slouchy trouser styles paired with delicate tops.
As noted by Vogue, "Performance artists were set throughout the multilevel space, performing works created by Abramovic. Twin beams of light glowed in the distance beyond One WTC, as a sign of remembrance of September 11."
Ms. Booth, again, put it best: "There was chanting in several languages. And atop recycled wood structures, artists hosted live performances expressing love, peace and humility. A couple locked in an eternal, ever-changing embrace, a robed figure held olive branches aloft, and a woman stood under a spout of drenching, cleansing water that lightly splashed guests seated on benches below." She continued, "As the sun set, the show closed with 'Ave Maria,' that melodic prayer, and the best view of Freedom Tower’s Tribute in Lights that I have ever seen."