Constrained Energy: Givenchy Paris Menswear Collection Spring/Summer 2015

Italian-born Riccardo Tisci ascended to the position of men’s designer at Givenchy in 2008. A designer informed by a love of gothic atmospherics, clean minimalist silhouettes and with a mutant eye on street-level subculture trends, Riccardo has revitalized the Givenchy brand, consistently releasing exciting and dynamic collections. The catwalks of Paris, for Spring/Summer 2015, were dominated by flowing shapes and airy billowing cuts, Givenchy turned that on its head, offering a powerful alternate vision of streetwear, punctuated with military reference points and cast in aggressive monochromatic intensity.

In a round catwalk configuration, under a deconstructed airplane sculpture by Paul Veroude, the men and women of the Givenchy universe circled in a direct, purposeful fashion. The initial looks were clearly drawing on inspiration from Tisci’s earlier seasons: sharply cut suited with short pants, constricting the powerful physiques of the models. The tailoring gave a feeling of strictness—an atmosphere at once of the schoolroom and the monastery, but with a fierce eye never leaving the street. Graphic rectangular fabric panels in white or black bisected the body, recalling emergency service stripes or warning signs. Jackets and pants were rendered technical and functional, speaking to the military inspirations that underscored many of the looks. Oversized zippers, pull closures and bulky zipped-up pockets, studded jackets, shorts and pants—the Givenchy man was prepared for any manner of urban collapse. The inclusion of floral prints, in most designers’s hands would be a romantic flourishing embellishment. Here, the small and precise floral prints did nothing to soften the collection; instead they exploded in militant fashion, like urban camouflage sprayed across the garment’s surface.
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