GIVENCHY – S/S 22

Matthew M. Williams will debut his first haute couture collection for Givenchy in January. “It’s been drawn; we’ve just begun the toiles,” he revealed during a preview of his first live show with an audience since joining the house at the beginning of the pandemic. Underpinned by his couture ambitions, his third ready-to-wear collection felt like a grandiose release: a massive explosion of ideas and ambitions that had been bottled up for far too long, until the cork finally popped.

Williams erected a proportionately massive oval light structure inside the gargantuan La Défense Arena, which 70 models traversed and intersected with military panache. Young Thug came up with the concept of vastness. He created an original soundtrack for the show (which is quite catchy), and only a stadium performance would suffice. “Having everyone see it in person definitely informed what you’re going to see today,” Williams said, his intentions clear.

Tackling an amplified 1940s silhouette—sculpted shoulders, nipped-in waists—he worked the fabrication and surface decoration of every garment to inextricable degrees, amplifying the impact factor of looks to the point where you could see the details from across the arena. Scanty bloomers erupted in unyielding ruffles, column dresses were encrusted with thick, rustling mega-sequins, and bolstered bolero jackets were shaped by dense micro-plissé structures.

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