I should’ve written this review of Ricardo Tisci’s Autumn/Winter menswear collection for Givenchy a while ago. It doesn’t help that I keep changing my opinion on the clothes shown. There’s a lot here to like, but too many question marks. Street clothing versus High Fashion? Good taste versus bad? Oh, and leather shorts – my personal menswear bête noir.
Shorts are all over this collection, either worn with opaque socks and chunky hi-tops or knee length lace-up boots. The plaid and Rottweiler prints would’ve been used more sparingly by a less assured designer, but these are mashed together, and sometimes used in different scales on the same outfit, creating a deceptively decorative statement. Some seemingly-conventional suiting is brought bang up-to-date with some turned-up, half-mast, low-in-the-crotch trousers. The overall effect is suburban Parisian rioter meets hip-hop aesthete. In fact, I am reminded of the cover of N*E*R*D’s 2004 single ‘She Wants To Move’ throughout, the collection and sleeve sharing the same aggressive tone and palette of black, camel, and red.
Now we come to the fulcrum of my indecision. This is an adroit and focused selection of garments BUT – is it Givenchy? The playful styling and, the frankly genius, hats with ears are more reminiscent of Gaultier. The more baroquely decorative elements more Dries. There is none of the understated elegance and refinement that the House of Givenchy has become a byword for.
Maybe this is a good thing? Tisci is opening up Givenchy to a wider audience. Let’s hope it is less apprehensive than I am.