by Jeremy Danté

PARIS – shedding his purified direction seen in the last two couture seasons, ricardo tisci returned to the dark side for the SS12 haute couture season in paris. in 1952, the house of givenchy was founded by hubert de givenchy. upon establishment, givenchy became a fixture in fashion history through his affiliation with film icon, audrey hepburn & his associations with the kennedys. from 1952-1995, hubert de givenchy was in place at his own label but retired after 43 years. following hubert’s retirement, john galliano was selected as the label’s new creative director, which lasted for a mere two years. as you may know, galliano then left givenchy, upon the offering of a creative directing position at christian dior; where he remained for 15 years up until 2011. following galliano’s departure, alexander mcqueen was then put in place as creative director at givenchy, which allowed a whole other level of fashion to be entered into. throughout fashion history, the house of givenchy has housed & introduced some of the greatest designers, catapulting them into the larger high-end design stratosphere. tisci remains within that lane of great artists that have been given a place not only at givenchy, but in fashion all together. for this couture collection, tisci mentioned the importance of ‘identity’, using this collection to recap all he has done in his seven years with the historic french house.

through all of the speculation whether tisci will leave his post at givenchy to make a move to dior, one would speculate even further once hearing of tisci’s train of thought during the creation of this collection. “the mark of a successful designer is having an identity”, tisci said during interviews about the collection; which definitely adds a sense of retrospect from the designer. no doubt, tisci has made his mark with his work at givenchy, but why would he take this season to look back at all he’s done? unless he was planning to open a new chapter? speculation has lead us to believe that belgian designer, raf simons, is in the lead for the race to dior; but even that has never been confirmed beyond speculated reports. time will tell if this collection is a simple design check point for ricardo, or if it is indeed the closing of one chapter & the opening of a new. cited inspiration for the hand-made collection were 20’s films metropolis (1927) & aelita: queen of mars (1924), which can be seen in the collections concepts of art deco & crystalized embellishments. always a stand out each season, tisci has been doing delicate & powerfully influenced collections of exotic birds & samurais the last two seasons, while this season sees him going back to his darker roots. one piece from the collection was reported taking 350 hours to create- signal enough that the collection is no laughing matter. i always love when designers take opposition, further contrasting themselves against seasons, in fashion. for spring, generally, one would assume that romantic direction would be taken with beautiful florals, like many of the other collections we’ve seen thus far. but tisci, like a true original, separated himself from that expectation; presenting something chic & darkly glamourous.

listed in order from left to right, the 10 piece collection was modeled by joan smalls, stella tennant, ana claudia michels, kristen mcmenamy, saskia de brauw, daria strokous, natasha poly, zuzanna bijoch, valerija kelava & kati nescher. im always extrememly interested to see how tisci opts to have each collection shot. for the pre-fall season, i heard the collection was shot in the streets of brooklyn. this collection? shot in what appears to be a basketball court, which is hinted at the hoop net above the 10 looks & the basketball that rests below the ten models’ feet. overall, the collection is still just a glimpse of design construction genius in images. even when seeing collections through video or strategic lighting, the art of couture is to be experienced in real life, off screen- something that digital media could never replace. what i value most about couture is, despite the advancements of sewing machines, laser cut leather & other modern technology- there is no greater value than a classical technique handed down from generation to generation, from one skilled individual to another. tisci demonstrates that even the most modern fashion houses can still rock with tradition in a way that truly blends the new school with the old. you don’t need me to say it, by just looking at the collection- the designs are impeccable & tisci, via givenchy remains un-fucking-touchable. [source]