Clare Waight Keller’s SS19 collection for Givenchy aimed to blur the lines of gender identity. Titled I am Your Mirror, the collection presented masculine cuts and styles for women, that still somehow brought a unique femininity, while for the men the offering was cool and modern.
“Woman and man mirror and morph.” The show notes declared at Givenchy’s SS19 show in Paris last night. Clare Waight Keller’s designs were inspired by Annemarie Schwarzenbach, a Swiss writer, photographer and traveller who lived over a century ago but was known for her androgynous style. Waight Keller was on a mission to blur the lines between men’s and women’s looks – something that is increasingly common in today’s society.
And so this is what she did – at least with the womenswear. Models mirrored young boys with short pixie cuts and androgynous shapes. Straight cut dresses hung from the models creating statuesque silhouettes. Origami-style pleating and billowing hemlines offered femininity which was clearly present, despite the masculine influences on the collection. Tuxedo style jackets, utility trousers and military influenced separates developed the masculine influence further. But the designer still kept her own DNA. There were low necklines, fringing flowing materials, and modest evening gowns that brought some femininity back to the designs. There were even floral prints that seemed to go against the original idea of this show – but that kept the creativity and Waight Keller’s ability to appeal to the masses. The colour palette was varied – ranging from monochrome looks to pops of bright, bold colour.
The menswear was well tailored. Suits were given a fresh look thanks to the choice of prints and colours. Trousers were skinny and paired with Chelsea boots. Don’t be confused – the menswear was not feminine at all – it was the women’s wear where the lines were blurred. Menswear was contemporary yet classic and featured staples including leather jackets, utility trousers, cigarette pants and trench coats.
While last season she was looking back at the history and Givenchy archives, Clare Waight Keller’s approach to this collection is perhaps a signal of her direction for the future of the brand as she firmly settles in the House. But make no mistake while it is fresh and has a strong direction it still kept the DNA of Givenchy.