Long Nguyen is the co-founder and style director of Flaunt.
PARIS--It’s now a given that walking into the Givenchy couture presentation at the Hôtel d’Evreux feels like walking directly into the atelier. The dazzling techniques of Givenchy’s couturiers under the direction of Riccardo Tisci were displayed on mannequins throughout several rooms, and, as usual, blown up photographs showing the collection on a group of 10 models (from the front and from the back) hung in the last room.
Tuesday night’s presentation was all about the ‘opulence of the gypsy world’ meets the sharp clean cuts of the ‘60s--and of course, the new techniques. One cape dress was made entirely from cut out pieces of lamb’s leather (agneau plongé) embroidered on tulle and hand strung with fringe falling to the floor. Another fringed-cape number had a diamond-shaped corset, the front of which was made of hand-shaved mink--a very delicate and therefore difficult material to work with--made to resemble velvet. Really. And this was just Room One. The other rooms revealed floor-length leather-paneled coats embroidered with red crystals worn over column dresses.
And at each of the mannequins’ exposed ‘feet’ was a pair of ski sunglass that will surely be an 'it' item come fall.
What was more breathtaking about the collection as a whole was how all these incredible techniques and materials came together to serve one purpose.
As I was inspecting the leather covered crystals delicately embroidered onto fragile lace, some models walked by. One stood in front of me and moved her arms upwards to reveal a surprising array of tan leather embroideries on the underside of her cape. It was like uncovering a secret treasure. Only couture can achieve and deliver this level of beauty through clothes.