A transatlantic clash of enduring city wardrobes: for the Givenchy Spring-Summer 2023 collection, Artistic Director Matthew M. Williams proposes a cultural exchange between the cosmopolitan dress codes of France and America, resonated in the influence of Hubert de Givenchy upon both domains of style.
The show is staged in the Jardin des Plantes where botanist explorers have crosspollinated discoveries from around the world since the seventeenth century. Here, a metaphorical graftage unfolds. The urban tastes and uniforms of Givenchy’s France and Williams’ America – cultivated since the mid-century – unify in a reflection of the shared global dress sense of the digital era. Through the timeless gaze of Hubert de Givenchy, whose contributions to American cinema inspired the nation’s perception of everyday elegance, the silhouettes of classic Parisian chic and casual Los Angeles cool consolidate.
In the process, the archival icons of Givenchy are re-energised in dialogue with the archetypal workwear staples of the city wardrobe, re-evaluated through the lens of savoir-faire.
This study of collective dress codes begins with an adaptation and clarification of the Maison’s own genetics. Dresses, skirts and blouses gathered at the centre draw on a storied house technique, while Givenchy's emblematic black dresses are constructed with integrated asymmetrical stole panels draped from the neckline. Box jackets constructed in tweed and boucle conjure archival skirt suits, re-imagined with Givenchy’s 4G logo. Tailoring is intensified at the shoulder and nipped at the waist, coats structured with zips at the front transform into capes, and classic blazers are imbued with boned corsets.