“This collection is an investigation into the dress codes that tie us together across mentalities and continents,” Matthew M Williams, Creative Director of Givenchy says regarding the brand’s SS23 ready-to-wear women’s collection. Founder, Hubert de Givenchy, and his work with Audrey Hepburn acquainted Americans with the core of Parisian elegance in years gone by, whilst American music culture has modulated the dress senses of French youth throughout modern eras – a symbiotic, cross-continental relationship on full display in American-hailing Williams’ show. “Everything begins with Hubert,” he explains. “I looked at his archives with my adopted Parisian eye, but also with my instinctive American eye.”
Showcased at Paris’ Jardin Des Plantes, the site of cross-pollination of botanical discoveries from around the world since the 1600s, the collection similarly transplants stateside dress codes into a French modus operandi, giving way to a crescendo of international synthesis, mirroring the global nature of style in today’s digital world. Whilst precipitation would usually be a welcome sight at the botanical garden, the intermittent showers over the Paris Fashion Week show were less welcome, but nothing could put a stop to proceedings as the likes of Bella Hadid took to the catwalk.
Williams began the cross-fertilisation of Parisian elegance and the effortless style of Californian shores with an affirmation of the house’s own DNA. Skirts and blouses drew on tried and tested techniques from the brand, while Tweed box jackets engendered memories of the Maison’s skirt suits from yesteryear.
The fundamentals of city uniforms from American workwear, classic military and menswear, featuring trench coats, bomber and biker jackets, and cargo trousers, were reimagined in size, embellished, as well as suffused with the weaves of the French capital. The new ‘Voyou’ bag also graced the catwalk, combining the characteristics of a womenswear bag with the informal spirit of biker wear.
Celebrities including, Wonderland Autumn/Fall 2022 cover star Nicola Peltz Beckham, husband Brooklyn, and Doja Cat were found on the runway’s viewing benches, as the cultural exchange, “a long time in the making,” according to Williams, got its moment to shine on a rainy Parisian day.
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