Matthew M. Williams paints a picture of contemporary masculinity for the House’s Fall/Winter 2023 collection.

Givenchy’s Fall/Winter 2023 collection is a re-construction of masculinity. Offering up a new formality, Artistic Director Matthew M. Williams recognises the need to evolve his relationship with dressing, in relation to his masculinity. What can we take from the past? What shall we leave in the future? Williams has an appreciation for the traditional values of menswear, but is spurred on by the desire to adapt them to today’s mentality. In today’s world, we get dressed to be an individual – so ‘formality’ has different interpretations. Not to mention, we dress to feel confident, and to be at ease with ourselves. This Fall/Winter 2023 is a meeting of these two oppositions, propelling Givenchy into the future.

In terms of individuality, this manifests in the collection with deconstructed and reconstructed garments. Many looks feature layers upon layers, which seemingly fall apart at the seams. A visual representation of the multifaceted people who’ll wear them, this sentiment is echoed by the show’s soundtrack. Crafted up Bakar, a British indie rock musician, he lent his subversive sound to Givenchy in an exclusive composition. The setting of the show, a vast white box, allows the collection to speak for itself. Bringing light to the stellar technical and artisanal work that makes up Fall/Winter 2023, every cut and stitch is magnified.

Tailoring is the foundation of formal dressing, and four black suits carry the thread of customising dress codes. Created in the haute couture atelier, these suits are radical. With a lack of hemming, the unravelling that takes place allows for the silhouette to elongate the figure. We see further subversion in regards to the tucked-in tradition, as the layered looks take it to the extreme. Piling cropped sweatshirts over baggy layers of sportswear, a dichotomy is created between the elegant silhouette and its casual essence. Symbols of Americana are also plentiful, as plaids, camouflage, flames, denim, and bleached canvas are all out on display.

Further upending classic shapes, the collection also deconstructs workwear. Cargo trousers are brashly ripped open, and turned into skirts – which are worn over jogging bottoms. This deconstruction and reconstruction is also seen in tartan kilts and boiler suits. Drawing inspiration from a photograph of Hubert de Givenchy, in which he ties a jumper around his jeans like a skirt, the driving force is self-expression – adding personal gestures into clothes.

On the topic of workwear, the archetypes of this way of dressing are modernised with exuberant motifs. Patterns and texture explode onto the clothes, including wolf, snake, and cheetah prints. Another nod to Hubert de Givenchy’s innerworld, materials barely scratch the surface of the evolving of traditional menswear codes. Japanese boro stitching is used to reconstruct denim, while a hoodie is hand-plumed, and the back of a sheepskin flight jacket emerges through a distressed front.

On the accessories front, bags draw inspiration from archival women’s shapes. A holdall features a relaxed construction, while a man-bag is cropped under the arm – carrying the thread of the collection’s materials. Others, like the Voyou messenger bag, echo the collection’s materials with faux fur spilling out the lining. Gloves and rings also re-evoke this idea, while shoes are the ultimate focus of archetypes. Maximised work boots come in leather and washed canvas, while a formal-shoe-meets-cowboy-boot takes the shape of leather, and faux snakeskin. The TK-MX trainer is updated to echo the collection, while wellingtons are constructed from carbon fibre embossed leather.

The collection’s fully thought out concept was embedded into every last thread. Taking the past to look towards the future, Givenchy’s Fall/Winter 2023 collection is the picture of valiance.


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