The premise of the Givenchy show in New York was obviously to give some sort of spiritual overtones to the opening of the maison‘s new boutique on Madison Avenue.
The results, however, were dangerously bordering on the soporific: A monk chanting incessantly to the stylised movements of a piano, performance artists propped over the seemingly mouldering set, moving extremely slowly against what could have been an enchanting New York City sunset. With her art-direction of the show, Marina Abramovic gave us a convincing visual essay on the many differences between the artistic and the artsy, nevertheless moving hazardously towards the latter.
The Givenchy Spring Summer ’16 collection unfolded under our very eyes in very separate stages, ranging systematically from ready-to-wear, to menswear, to evening-wear and back again, accurately referencing the codes of the house as well as the aesthetic codes of the creative director Riccardo Tisci; face jewellery was back, and so were septum piercings and ornate see-through gowns.
Black, white and shades of cream served as the background to a collection that, if at times a bit confused, felt complete and consistent. Over the slow lament of a languorous soundtrack, trenchantly tailored separates were ingeniously mixed with elements borrowed from lounge-wear such as robes du chambre and long kimonos in white silk; A comprehensive wardrobe that will definitely succeed in carrying the Givenchy woman from day to night without ever belong to neither one or the other.
A strong assemblage of arresting outfits that in no way needed the distracting charade of ‘performance art’ to tag along so noisily.
By Matteo Sarti