We’re loving the state of menswear right now. While co-ed shows are nothing new – though the debate to hold separate presentations still rages on and off – it’s a fantastic time when designers are pushing men’s fashion on as many platforms as possible.
Take Givenchy, for example. Artistic director Clare Waight Keller presented her first standalone men’s collection for the French fashion house in January, making the decision to return to the Paris men’s calendar.
Waight Keller has already made a strong case for men’s high fashion, showing her first take on this progressive shift in the industry at Givenchy’s haute couture collection during the spring/summer 2018 season – a first for both the historic house and the designer.
Since then, Waight Keller has infused these couture elements into her men’s ready-to-wear, including at the recent menswear presentation earlier this year, where the designer emphasised her desire to give men a bigger fashion stage.
And the British designer isn’t slowing down or waiting until the next men’s season to show more of her major moves.
At her fall/winter 2019 women’s ready to wear show this past weekend – dubbed “The Winter of Eden” and aptly staged at the Jardin des Plantes – Waight Keller sent out 64 looks, opening with some next level sculpted shoulders on perfectly tailored coats and blazers for women.
Tailoring is what Waight Keller (and, of course, Hubert de Givenchy) is known for. A kind reminder that the designer began her career designing menswear. Naturally, this translated well onto the women’s items.
Throughout the collection, Waight Keller employs duality via the origin myth, citing Adam and Eve as reference points for silhouettes both round and sharp in structure. More literal interpretations were seen in the reptilian and botanical-inspired embroideries and textures, like on a women’s coat and dress, and for men, a button-up shirt.
The rest of the menswear looks were a continuation of January’s brilliant offerings: a flared ’70s suit in turquoise, exquisitely tailored blazers and coats – one double-breasted in white, another a puffer hybrid of sort – all layered to perfection.
It may have been a women’s show, but Waight Keller is elaborating on her vision for the storied house throughout her cohesive collections season after season (she's entering her third for Givenchy soon) and ensuring that the new era of menswear seen from Milan to Paris this year – and one that she’s easily spearheading – stays part of the conversation.
Oui, Waight Keller. We can't wait for more.