Loud techno beats heralded the start of Riccardo Tisci’s 2014 spring menswear collection for Givenchy. The electrically charged smash of digital prints that came down the runway echoed the soundtrack. The inspiration was Africa by way of the Los Angeles surf scene–with a focus on boom box street culture (like the kind with double D batteries you used to carry on your shoulder).
The layered silhouettes–hooded parkas over dress shirts, loose shorts or skirts over leggings–reminded me of Tisci’s first menswear show back in July 2008: It was couture meets street wear.
Changes in menswear are very slow and are often dictated by very technical alterations of proportions–a higher armhole, for example. Over the past six years, Tisci has defined a “look” that will continue to be a part of every collection going forward: the shorts with skirt panels worn with leggings, the printed sweatshirts. Tisci understands how the younger generation wants to dress. For them, fashion isn’t about breakthrough design innovations. It’s about clothes they can relate to in their everyday lives, clothes they can relate to emotionally.
“I could see people wearing it for sure,” rapper Dominic Lord told me after the show. “They could gravitate towards the pieces that most excites them and use them to make a statement.”
Often at so many fashion shows, I get a sense that designers live a world apart. And yes, many are required to work within their respective house’s heritage. But none of the pieces on the Givenchy runway would look odd when worn out on the street.