Long Nguyen is the co-founder and style director of Flaunt.
Transgendered British singer Antony Hegarty’s deep voice helped lift Givenchy’s fall 2013 show to new emotional heights. Hegarty, backed by his small orchestra (the Johnsons) sang “You Are My Sister” then “Cripple and Starfish”–which he had created especially for the occasion–giving Riccardo Tisci the perfect backdrop for a finely-tuned collection. Tisci’s signature shapes, which come from mixing gypsy strength and Victorian romanticism, resulted in chic and sophisticated clothes that still retained that Givenchy street vibe for which the designer is now known.
The show opened with Tisci’s signature Givenchy sweatshirt in black with a Bambi-esque motif worn over a sheer sparkly tulle skirt. Other print variations of this fetish item featured an American flag print which was paired with a long paisley skirt. The designer delivered clothes that borrowed from his own menswear collection, but he rendered them feminine by pairing them with skirts or long flowing pants. Some looks would have been too tough and masculine without the counterbalance of a soft skirt–but that’s the sexiness inherent in each Givenchy collection. I particularly loved the rose-print biker jacket paired with a sheer rose print skirt. And the leather stripe boots are sure to be a best seller come next season.
In lieu of evening dresses, Tisci sent out three versions of decorated sweaters over white beaded, floor-length chiffon skirts, one of which was worn by Natalia Vodianova as she closed the show. Rather than girly dresses, this is what Tisci prefers his women to wear, and he’s spent eight years with the label developing this aesthetic.
The crowd started to roar as Vodianova completed her slow languid walk in the final outfit of the show and became thunderous as Tisci took a bow. Without a doubt, the designer has a lot of fans–many of whom were present. But many whom were not: I have seen many people wearing his print t-shirts and sweatshirts in places where I know designer fashion is not commonplace. That’s the extent of Tisci’s influence; he’s able to reach across demographics and out of the very insular fashion crowd.