The Met Gala is tonight. It is what most industry insiders would call one of the biggest nights in fashion, maybe even the biggest. This year’s chair (in addition to Anna Wintour and her posse of Vogue girls) is Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci, who has been preparing for tonight’s event for about a year. So much so that he has failed to show couture collections, more or less blaming it on the fact that he has been so busy with Met Gala duties. While that is a sufficient answer for many, I’m skeptical.
Riccardo Tisci joined Givenchy in 2005 and has been the force behind the house’s couture creations since then, consistently presenting collections for Fall and Spring. Since his arrival, Tisci has also made it a point to transform Givenchy a bit, creating an increased amount of accessible luxury. He is behind the house’s first “it” bag, the Nightingale. He is also behind the Givenchy streetwear craze: the printed t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc. He has undoubtedly made Givenchy more relevant that it has been in my entire lifetime, which is a feat. But what about couture?
Rottweiler t-shirts are only sustainable for so long. Bambi-inspired sweatshirts certainly cannot carry a luxury design house. So, what is really happening with Givenchy, which holds the status of a grand couturier, is unclear. The Paris-based design house announced late last year that it would not show a collection during the January 2013 couture week in Paris. The announcement followed Givenchy 2010 shift from presenting couture runway shows to showing looks in a presentation setting. At the time of the announcement, Style.com said it was likely because "the brand’s plate is presumably full this year, with Riccardo Tisci co-hosting the Met Gala in May." This was somewhat understandable until Tisci created costumes for Beyonce’s tour, Rihanna’s tour and for the Opèra Garnier in Paris. Is he just doing everything but presenting a formal couture collection? Because for some reason, custom-made designs adorning Rihanna while she sings about cake and Chris Brown aren't exactly the same as a couture collection, and costumes for the ballet also likely do not have the same visibility as a couture collection. So, streetwear it is? We will see soon, now that the Met Gala is almost complete.