In his third season as creative director at Givenchy, Julien Macdonald showed a collection that was sleek, dark and above all mysterious. Models wore their clothes like battle armorslim leather and tweed coats over turtlenecks over knee-length skirts, accessorized with thigh-high boots and black leather gloves, often to the elbow. Most of the time the only skin exposed was on their faces. Not surprisingly, the fictional muse that inspired the designer this season is a woman with something to hide. "She's a KGB spy living in Paris," he said backstage after the show. "She's a woman you see only in passing and only at night.”
This collection was more restrained and classically sophisticated than we've come to expect from Macdonald; there were none of the gold lam¿ jumpsuits or shredded pastel denims he's been known to do in the past. He seemed to be looking back at Givenchy’s Audrey Hepburn heyday, showing chic, slimmed-down versions of the house’s classic belted trench coat in combinations of wool, leather and tweed. He even closed the show with a series of variations on the little black dress, trimmed with wide bands of crystals that, the designer said, were informed by the Van Cleef & Arpels diamonds owned by the Duchess of Windsor. They twinkled like rainbows under the runway lightsproving that though he may have turned down the volume, Macdonald hasn’t entirely given up on glitz.