Givenchy: high-energy equestrian

‘Two words,’ said Riccardo Tisci backstage of his Givenchy show, ‘Guy Bourdin and horse riding… Actually, it’s three words, Guy Bourdin, horse riding and Berlin.’ He was in Berlin two weeks ago, he said, ‘for the music, the kids, the energy.’

If there’s one thing Riccardo Tisci gives it’s good energy. Even in the freezing venue, (the heaters weren’t working) in the school gym at Lycee Carnot, the atmosphere was electric. Enough to lure the type of stadium filler celeb, the likes of P. Diddy, Kanye and Alicia Keys who rolled up to pay their respects.

Tisci’s shows always pulse with electricity, from the moment the music starts (in this case horses hooves pounding) to the lights going up (whirring tubes of fluorescent wheels high above the catwalk) to the models, always the best girls in town (even Stella Tennant made a rare appearance for him), to the clothes.

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So what were they? The kind of dark, covered-up, intense, hard, fierce clothes befitting the sombre season that is autumn winter 2012. However, when Tisci does dark—within the boundaries of his gothic-rock-glam aesthetic—he does it brilliantly and with something extra.

In this case, the lightest, whisker-fine boudoir slip dresses. Not lingerie in the sense of pretty ballerina colours. This being Tisci, think lurid purple and orange inlaid with black lace sometimes covered in sparkly mesh and worn with long leather gauntlets.

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It was the Tisci tailoring that stood out a mile. A storm of all-black jackets and coats marched out in matte wool, shiny leather or lustrous ponyskin, strictly tailored close to the body apart from the occasional leather coat that swooshed out above the knee. The new Givenchy trouser shape looked great in supple leather with roomy pleats at the hips, like a jodhpur, giving a nice slouchy effect before dramatically narrowing, the better to be worn inside the new knee-high riding boots – the latter destined to be added to the Givenchy need-now footwear roster. Another equestrian touch came in the form of black stocks – silk tied elegantly at the neck in the manner of a show jumper.

It was the final tailored outfit that summed up this strong collection: black stock at the neck, black silk jodhpurs, black over-the-knee riding boots and a cropped black tuxedo with a long silk train wafting behind.

It perfectly encapsulated Tisci’s dark romance. And the season as a whole.

See the full collection here

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