A contemporary wardrobe through the looking glass of savoir-faire: at the École-Militaire, in his first standalone ready-to-wear men’s show for Givenchy, Matthew M. Williams stages a meeting between present-day menswear and the Maison’s artisanal ateliers.
For Spring-Summer 2023 Matthew Willliams identifies the archetypical garments and accessories that make up an authentic wardrobe, and amplifies them through the artisanal and technological possibilities of Parisian craftsmanship. Reflecting a generational approach to the dress codes of history, subcultural tropes crosspollinate in a free and fluid expression of community dressing inspired by the men – artists, musicians, designers – who orbit Williams in his personal life and in his practice at Givenchy. Alkaline, the Jamaican-born dancehall and reggae artist distinguished by his radical look and inky contact lenses, scores and influences the show. In a study of deconstruction through an haute couture lens, Williams investigates the societal uniforms of his native America through the refined elegance of the Maison.
A new tailoring silhouette emerges in black and grey blazers and coats expanded but relaxed in volume. They are worn with matching trousers ripped at the knee to reveal their logo-adorned lining in the style of the DIY alterations of a uniformed schoolboy. A blouson and cargo short in tan and beige leather are patchworked from undyed offcuts upcycled from the Maison’s leather factory, and laminated for a rigid structure. Classic shell jackets in mint green and black are constructed in super lightweight leather. Evoking a military surplus sensibility, leather varsity jackets are adorned with logo embroidery all-over and include a motif identical to the tarot card leg tattoo carried by Williams.