“For the Spring-Summer 22 collection, I wanted to build on the tradition of Givenchy’s history while also really looking towards the future. To do this, I worked with people I admire across different disciplines who have truly unique perspectives including the artist Josh Smith, whose iconic work is incorporated throughout the collection, and the musician Young Thug, who created the entire score for the show. The collaboration and this collection offer people a remarkably immersive and special experience.”Matthew M. Williams, Creative Director, GivenchyIn Matthew M. Williams’ Givenchy, there is a mix of luxury and utility, lavishness and austerity, together with imperfect beauty and humanity. It points to the distinctly emotional side of the business of luxury andfashion that is sometimes forgotten in its confines; something that Williams is keen for all to partake in, particularly in this first live show experience. Bridging the classical, radical and practical, the silhouettes for both women and men explore the tension between extravagance and discipline, tradition and today. Material experimentation and construction of the silhouette is combined with an intense contrast in clothing that could only be achieved and exist now. At the same time, the collection embraces tradition, the techniques of the salon, and timelessness, proving that these distinct elements are not mutually exclusive. As always, at Givenchy, both classicism and subversion play a part.
A stratification of eras and influences is found in the clothing, purposely layered and juxtaposed in looks: traditional masculine tailoring fabrics are featured in women’s and menswear, mohair wools, Napa leathers, cotton herringbones, and Prince of Wales checks are bonded with neoprene and sculpted in form, applied to both corsets and peplums–drawn from Monsieur de Givenchy’s archive–together with shorts and minis, as well as more conventional suiting. Raw edges are cleanly sliced and embraced, adding a sense of modernity throughout; delicate broderie Anglaiseis contrasted and exposed, bound in as trim, while tulle and transparencies add lightness, freshness and airy appositions; the urbane savoir-faire of the house and the homespun simplicity of handcraft are brought together in intricate tooling and ‘basket woven leatherwork,
with macramé and raffia techniques for both clothing and bags. Besides the homespun and handcrafted take on accessories, the new ‘Kenny’ bag–first seen at the MetGala–is gathered and ornamented with Williams’ characteristic hardware handles and Love Locks. Also making a debut appearance this season is the ‘Neo-Antigona’–a new take on a much-loved classic–and the men’s latest multifunctional backpack with signature ‘4G’ fastenings. Meanwhile, the foundation of footwear sees further experimentation and evolution in a new approach to the humble, traditional clog in both thigh-skimming and short styles, with an integrated and moulded TPU heel for ultimate ease. While in classical, delicate contrast, women’s sandals are adorned with metallic ‘4G’ detailing. Also seen for the first time is a hardwearing, fully knitted shoe–from upper to sole–another complex experiment in comfort, craft and silhouette for the house under Williams. An interest in both the radical and the puritanical, of humble and homespun stenciling, printing, and crafting, can also be seen in the work of the American artist Josh Smith. Williams worked extensively withSmith to realize designs with his artwork embedded, an effort of true collaboration throughout the collection. Here, the punch of the artists colour permeates the traditional Givenchy palette, with transformative, joyful effect, while his work featuring characteristic reapers, pumpkins, and various personal‘totems’ finds unmistakable form in clothing and accessories.As Josh Smith says of thecollaboration: “Matt showed up in my studio and we started cookingtogether…we made some delicious things. We burnt some stuff and that tasted good too. Matt took a to-gobag back to Paris and shared all of this with his sharp creative team. This collection is a miracle. The sky isthe limit. Thanks for taking a look.”The score for the entire show is by the musician Young Thug. Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Young Thugis one of the most influential rappers working today, both an icon for a newgeneration and an iconoclastbeloved of Matthew M. Williams. His soundtrack for Spring-Summer ‘22 exclusively features previouslyunreleased material as well as the debut of unheard tracks from his forthcoming album; “Punk”, to bereleased on October 15t