A squadron of mannequins in heavily distressed jeans, slick leather jackets with toggle closures, and airy pinstriped tops greeted the lifestyle and fashion media in downtown Seoul last Jan. 9.
The Spring-Summer 2020 collection of Givenchy was arranged in a grid that allowed guests to inspect the pieces. Arranged on low tables and shelves around the room were the bags from both the men’s and women’s collections.
The collection, dubbed “NY Paris 1993,” provided insights into artistic director Clare Waight Keller’s design processes and inspirations. That year, the English designer moved to New York for a job at Calvin Klein.
The minimalist look was the rage at the time—slip dresses, black everything with barely-there makeup. But it was also when Paris was winding down from the highs of full-on glamour.
In an interview with Vogue.com last September, she said that when she arrived in New York, she was “very much a tomboy, and there was this raw, boyish energy.”
Waight Keller reimagined these images into a collection that blends utilitarian touches (knapsacks with drawstring closures, slickers with deep pockets, and sporty sneakers) with lush and pretty details (floral brocade, sculptural heels).
Hubert de Givenchy, who started his couture house at the age of 25, specialized in “clothes for the new era of air travel and grand evening wear” (“The Fashion Book,” Phaidon, 1998). In her own way, Waight Keller is bringing the fashion house to a younger, grittier generation.
Even the location for Givenchy’s press day in Seoul was literally rough around the edges. The second floor of a coffee shop was chosen for its distressed appeal. Concrete floors were bare, windows unadorned, and one indoor arch looked like the workers had abandoned it in the middle of demolition.
The look was effective, allowing Waight Keller’s designs to stand out. For the women’s collection, she combined romantic Parisian flowers with the raw denim spirit of New York City, using colors like marigold, magenta, cerulean and emerald. These hothouse hues were then set against sandy neutrals and monochrome houndstooth.
This season, Givenchy has introduced a new slouchy triple pouch bag. Crafted in perforated chainlink nappa, woven in dark straw, and framed in twisted braid handles, it features tasseled charms and the new double “G” in beveled leather.
Calfskin boots sport a sprayed wooden block heel, while sandals and square mules are raised on laser-cut radial columns. Sculpted cuffs sheathed with leather match geometric hoop earrings finished in matte black rubber.
The men’s collection from Givenchy consisted of relaxed three-button and double-breasted shapes, soft jackets made of gleaming technical cottons, boxy short-sleeved shirts and cargo trousers. Gothic fleurs du mal calligraphy is fragmented into abstract prints, while bonded anoraks and flyaway parkas featured ultra-light Korean textiles from reflective metallics to velvet-touch nylon.
Men’s accessories included weekender and hiking backpacks in leather and chain jacquard with ripcord closures and detachable zip pouches. Footwear consisted of high- or low-top multicolored sock trainers and an exclusive Givenchy x Onitsuka Tiger embroidered track shoe in black or white leather.
Givenchy is exclusively distributed by Stores Specialists Inc., and is located at Greenbelt 4, Shangri-La Plaza East Wing, and Solaire Resort & Casino. Visit www.ssilife.com.ph or follow @ssilifeph on Instagram.