|For the Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2019, Claire Waight Keller unveils a collection that embodies a palimpsest of glamour – as traces of peerless majesty are streaked with rebellion. Unravelling a tapestry of romance and antiquity, Givenchy invokes the notion of Noblesse Radicale, inflecting the traditions of Haute Couture with new textures and volumes.
Bearing the fruit of imaginary journeys through villas, chateaux, and stately homes, these swans emerge as punk effigies – bowerbirds of plumage traced with Indian palampore and silver filigree. Paraded through the nave of the Musée des Arts Decoratifs, each silhouette bears the name of French Châteaux, in a subtle wink to the birthplaces of the grand tradition of Haute Couture. Invoking the immortal symbolism of the ‘Tree of Life’, the unfurling leaves, petals and ripe fruits of palampore motifs are woven through monochrome jacquards and adorned with precious beading, their chintz and chrysanthemum blooms appearing on swathes of draped taffeta, dazzling sheaths of tonal sequins, and crèpe flecked with sprays of marabou. Flyaway ribbons cinch parachute shapes layered over dropped crinolines and pleated tulle skirts, whilst fitted bodices fall into iridescent lace pleating or fountains of fringe. Evoking the notion of ‘undone glamour’, opulent men’s silhouettes reprise the palampore motif in embellished lounge tailoring encrusted with metalwork.