Fashionista contributor Long Nguyen is the co-founder/style director of Flaunt.
Paris--Fashion is never just about physical clothes: it’s the manner that physical clothes conceal the human body and reveal the clothed body to others. A great fashion show is one that evokes our emotions, one that provokes and questions our consensus and our ideals. More importantly, fashion is an emotional reaction to how the clothes look and feel on oneself and on others.
For anyone who has followed Riccardo Tisci’s work on menswear since his debut show in July 2008, the opening look--a long sleeved black shirt and shorts with bull dog prints, worn with opaque tights and leather high tops--has a ring of familiarity. They remind us of the black wool jacket, leather shorts, black knee tights and sneakers from back then. This silhouette and others--a chocolate knee length coat, leather vest worn with brown shorts, leggings and camel leather sneakers, a brown beaver short coat with dark brown shorts and lace up thigh high leather sneakers--are now Givenchy men’s signature looks. In street talk, Mr. Tisci owned them.
As he becomes more confident with menswear, Mr. Tisci is able to bring more of an emotional charge to his shows. He used the most diverse mix of models so far seen at any of the shows in Paris. This casting has now become an essential ingredient in how the message of the clothes is seen. I think it’s a way for the designer to reach out to a range of people on different levels. I can guarantee that this collection, if shown on a monotonous all-white cast, would seriously lack its punch. Diversity is now also a signature of Givenchy.
And responding in an emotional way isn’t right or wrong. The bulldog print collarless jacket with orange, grey and white plaid sleeves or the black and white knit with matching plaid shirt may look silly. But when you stop analyzing you’ve got to admit that, come on, it’s cute. Perhaps in reading this you may think I am somewhat impartial: That may be the case since I respond to some collections more than others. That’s normal. And I have an affinity for designers who find ways to impart his or her feelings onto the collections then onto us.
**Photos by Imaxtree.