A model presents a creation by Givenchy during the Women's Fall-Winter 2020-2021 Ready-to-Wear collection fashion show at the ParisLongchamp Racecourse in Paris, on March 1, 2020. (Photo by Lucas BARIOULET / AFP)
Looking back at Claire Wright Keller’s last Givenchy show
The height of lockdown brought us the news that Claire Wright Keller is leaving Givenchy.
It was news that was met not with disproportionate lamentation, but one that oddly felt like part of the orthodox cycle of things. It must be the times: closed stores and cancelled fashion weeks have the fashion world clamouring to discuss sustainability, ethics, and relevance. Or it must be Claire Wright Keller’s Givenchy itself, which, Vanessa Friedman and Elizabethan Paton, writing for the New York Times, noted as never quite gaining “the mainstream popularity that [Ricardo] Tisci achieved.”
Indeed part of that detachment from an appeal to mainstream popularity may have to do with Keller’s Givenchy’s ethos: timelessness. In a post-exit interview with British Vogue Keller said, “I try to always think, ‘Would I wear that in ten years?’ That’s my leitmotif.”
It’s a vision that has a timely resonance with growing movements against rabid consumerism. What was special about Keller’s Givenchy was that it was timeless not because that was what was fashionable, but because what Keller tapped into while in Givenchy was the old world romance that goes back to Monsieur Givenchy himself.
Since leaving, Keller has been prodigiously sharing on Instagram some behind-the-scenes snaps and stories of her former turf, from mood boards and Grand Salon fittings, to the making of custom red carpet dresses for Nicole Kidman and Jane Fonda.
Below we look back at the best things about Claire Wright Keller’s last Givenchy show.
The conscientious colorways
Givenchy fall 2020 imagined a wardrobe that was anchored in grays and black-and-whites, but it also offered some punchy ideas about how to wear color, such as injecting red to the black-and-white, or a trifecta of dusky purple, blue, and green as a solution for both day and night.
The case for covering up
The preeminent codes in fall 2020 were clear: high necks, long sleeves, and ankle-grazing hems. Covering up might be surface-level trend, but the underlying message is ease and confidence.
High glamor in the night-time
You know it’s a good look when you ask not what to wear but where to wear it to. Keller’s opulent propositions for evening elevates their wearer’s aspirations for what activities actually deserve to be graced by such precious pieces.
Which fashion house do you think will benefit from Claire Wright Keller’s vision? Or should she have her own brand? Sound off in the comments below. —JG
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