Paraded through the nave of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the Givenchy Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2019-2020 collection embodies a palimpsest of glamour tinged with ingenuity. Artistic Director Clare Waight Keller evokes the idea of “Noblesse Radicale”, applying to traditional haute couture new textures and new volumes inspired by château life.
The modernity of Haute Couture is an equilibrium, where the threads of the past weave a radical future. From flowering wallpapers and rich upholstery to heraldic silverware, impressions of the past dissolve into modern contrasts of tailoring and deconstructed eveningwear in the Givenchy Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2019-2020 collection.
Blazers and coats evoke riding capes or tuxedos in grain de poudre wool, silk satin and double-face cashmere. Invoking the symbolism of the Tree of Life, motifs of leaves, petals and fruits are woven through monochrome jacquards and adorned with precious beading. Chintz and chrysanthemum blooms appear on swathes of draped taffeta, sequined sheaths and crêpe flecked with sprays of marabou.
Flyaway ribbons cinch parachute shapes layered over dropped crinolines and pleated tulle skirts, while fitted bodices fall into iridescent lace pleating or fountains of fringe. Nodding to the “Noblesse Radicale” of the title, men’s silhouettes evoke the notion of undone glamour by reprising the collection’s palampore motif in lounge tailoring encrusted with metalwork.
In terms of accessories, palladium crowns accentuate the rebellious grandeur of crested mohawks and pearl chandelier earrings, while peacock combs frame the face in a daring riposte to pomp and ceremony.