But to the clothes. Show notes (given a personal touch in Keller’s handwriting) informed us that the theme would continue that of the designer’s first campaign that hit in July, Transformation Seduction. “Seduction is key”, they read. “Behind Transformation Seduction is a couple. They represent my view of modern togetherness: a symbiosis that touches upon the purest notions of human interaction.”
What that meant for the collection were clothes that were coherent, wearable, sexy, and with an edge. The opening look, a structured, double-breasted navy trench dress worn with a bag clasped around the waist and knee high boots was seductive yet strong, and the looks that followed continued in this vein. There were layered printed monochrome dresses that never became whimsical, big shouldered blazers and shirts, black denim jeans and jackets, leather and striped tops paired with zip front minis. It was still Givenchy alright, with more than a few nods to the house’s roots and a silencer to any critics that questioned whether Keller was enough of a personality to take on such a attitude laden brand. She also put to bed any notions that she wasn’t a menswear designer (despite highly successful stints designing it at Ralph Lauren and Pringle of Scotland) with looks that complimented the womenswear and fed into the idea of togetherness and fluidity that is the way forward in fashion, and ultimately, how people now shop which needs to be a consideration for any creative director. Men too had black denim pieces, striped tops and shirts and slim cut trousers paired with blazers and coats, some decorated in an abstract animal print borrowed from Givenchy’s archive.
The collection was more commercial than most that we witnessed with Ricardo Tisci, but in this era of fashion, with designers under constant pressure to deliver sales and ‘It’ products, that is perhaps no surprise. It was a collection that paid homage to Hubert de Givenchy and the house’s rich narrative but also one that updated those style codes into pieces that, importantly, will work as well off the runway as they did on it.
“This is how I began writing the new chapter”, wrote Clare. And if this is just the beginning, then we’ve got a lot to look forward to.