Maybe it’s all summer’s fault, maybe I’m really falling out of love with fashion, but it’s quite difficult for me to get excited about something happening in this world. News arrive and go at an astonishing speed; everything is “amazing” for one second, but something even more noteworthy is just around the corner. The result is that your mind is constantly flooded with information, but what is really relevant? Everybody seems to be a fashion expert, so writing about what others have written weakens motivation. The only aspect of fashion which still keeps its fascination intact is Haute Couture, the extraordinary realm where fashion dreams can still come true, and Riccardo Tisci, head designer at Givenchy, surely masters this art.
Analyzing the evolution of his career is a journey through a growing self-consciousness about his designing skills. In the fall 2012 collection, presented just a few days ago in Paris, a mature approach to design is probably the first thing that one can’t help but notice. Recurring inspring themes (Japan), decorations (3D embroideries and fringes) and tailoring details (geometric and rounded lines) can be found in this collection: they are an ideal fil rouge connecting all his recent Haute Couture creations.
Tisci is a traveller, as it can be inferred from his collections, but it’s not only a question of moving and visiting faraway countries: it’s a state of mind, the desire to know new cultures and to draw inspiration from them. Fashion – intended as a relevant aspect of self-expression and mirror of society – is turned into a constant flow where present and past merge, along with tailoring elements coming from other countries. Gypsy foklore has surely influenced the designer, who has given us a unique set of dresses and evening coats in a beautiful colour palette – black, caramel, brown, with flashes of fiery red.
After the old-school gym location for the spring 2012 collection, this time models posed outdoors, in a park: trees and vegetation provided the ideal backdrop for the dramatic set of outfits. As usual, Tisci named each outfit after the model who wore it – a detail I always like pointing out because it’s a sort of personal homage from the designer to the models.
Joan – Joan Smalls wore a silk satin organza jacket hand-painted in a beige-to-black dégradè; the shoulders are embroidered with beads and beaded fringes with the same dégradè. The outfit also includes a draped silk jersey halter top with beaded fringes showing the same dégradè, and black beaded harem pants in silk organza with beaded pleated belt. The dégradè effect is impressive, and so is the mixture of different textures: the beaded jacket is like dripping in light, while the trousers have a lamé effect.
Lea – Lea T wore a dramatic black leather fringed cape, embellished with black leather strips and metal rings. Under the cape she wore a black fringed nappa halter dress with a 3D leather front embroidery. Words fail when it comes to comment on this outfit: it speaks of an ancient past, old traditions and long journeys through wild landscapes.
Ajak – Ajak Deng wore another cape, made of black silk organza and velvet embroidered in red; the same motif can be found in the red and black beaded fringes which finish the cape. She also wore a harem jumpsuit with beaded knitted bodice and boot pants in velvet, embroidered with gros grain and beads, cinched with a large silk satin pleated belt. The embroidered motif of this cape is amazing: it reminds me of North-African traditional embroideries. The black velvet and the red and black beaded fringes add further drama.
Maria – Maria wore a black velvet dress with large leather embroidered belt, leather fringed bodice, long sleeves embellished with two rows of long leather fringes and shoulder pads in braided leather. This is definitely one of my favourite dresses: I think the fringed back (it creates a cape effect) is sublime. I’m not sure of the rhomb-shaped belt, but the dress makes such an impression that I can easily oversee that detail.