‘New attitude, for new beginnings’ read a personal note from Clare Waight Keller at Givenchy SS18 show, one of the most anticipated runway debuts this season.
Waight Keller took over the creative direction of the house in July and since then there has been much speculation of how much of the softness and bohemia she’ll retain after six years at Chloe. There were certain traits but the flowing fabrics had more structure, lace trim felt more baroque than romantic and sheer blouses were daring rather than pretty.
Her vision of Givenchy also carries some of the gothic elements, but they have been polished into a slick, contemporary vision. This is a side of Waight Keller that we’ve never seen before and it’s exciting. Coupling both women’s and men’s line in one sitting, she created her vision of ‘togetherness’ through elements of seductive fabrics and sharp cuts to bring a purer sense to dressing.
For the first part of the show, men’s pieces were surprisingly stronger with structured suits, leather and denim jackets as well as blazers with contrasting patchwork. You can feel that Waight Keller enjoyed designing for the Givenchy man and we imagine many of the female clientele will be inspecting the boys rail once the pieces land in store. Towards the end, the women’s collection triumphed with everyone snapping up the risqué low cut gowns with pleated skirts and caped cocktail dresses.
Accessories had elements of Chloe with tough gold earrings as well as echoes of Givenchy in the form of chain chokers. Cowboy boots dominated the first half and for the evening she offered velvet knee-high versions alongside standout bags that include a new style named GV3, in honor of the brand’s address.
It’s not the Givenchy you remember and it’s not the Chloe many thought they’d see. It’s a new chapter for the house and for Waight Keller that carries an intoxicating sense of new.