Paris Fashion Week: Givenchy Makes A Bold Statement About The Future Of Menswear
Waight Keller, who first joined the house in 2017, chose to present her first standalone men’s collection at Givenchy’s haute couture atelier on Avenue George V. The British designer’s 17 meticulously selected looks for fall/winter 2019 set the stage for not only what Waight Keller feels of the current zeitgeist, but for how she foresees the future of the brand’s men’s division.
Drawing from her own experience, Waight Keller cites being inspired by her male friends living in New York in the ’90s, who in turn drew their personal style from ’70s references. The former decade’s mood is evoked through the colour-blocked suits – shades of violet, fuchsia, red, yellow and eclectic blue – grounded by the more classic black, navy and camel hues.
The later decade’s influence is revealed in the silhouettes, where slim suit jackets with angular, structured shoulders meet looser, elongated flared pants – or karate trousers. The perfectly cinched waists are a testament to Givenchy’s legacy tailoring, but the fusion of sport and casual wear – a windbreaker, puffer jacket, parka, hoodies and sneakers – add just the right amount of contemporary elements. Outwear, boxy and oversized, play with proportions.
Waight Keller’s more flamboyant details in the men’s offerings allude to Givenchy’s existing women’s and haute couture collections, as well as the surge in celebrity dressing of stars like Harry Styles and Rami Malek. We welcome these bold moves: a white suit jacket shining with transparent sequins, others with mother-of-pearl buttons, and some embellished with leopard spots. Items in attention-grabbing textures, such as crinkled leather, bonded fabric and microglass hand-beading, emphasise the collection’s couture treatment.
Personal standouts include the innovative leathers – the trench coat, biker trousers and accessories, all polished and treated with a slick, petrol-finish. Waight Keller’s quest for a “perverse posh” collection, as she called it, is epitomised in these outstanding items.
Footwear further echoed the importance of Givenchy’s craftsmanship: menswear staples materialised as a three-buckle monk boot, a mid-calf boot, plus pre-fall’s biker boot, altered slightly higher, with patent leather derbies well-suited to the smarter looks.
Waight Keller’s new vision of men’s sees a return to strong and traditional tailoring techniques, focusing on the house’s fortes, like its beautiful cuts and shapes. And as long as the designer is at the helm, menswear will be moving well forward, and with an elevated elegance in true Givenchy style.