The creepy swell of the Mulholland Drive
soundtrack announced Oswald Boateng's intention to
take his audience on a journey. Fortunately, it was an
upbeat, bright-hued place he took them to. "I'm not
toning it down anymore," he announced with
characteristic brio. "I'm going to create a color
vocabulary for Givenchy."
Boateng started with a pair of narrow, tab-closed trousers in a vivid grass-green, followed shortly by a leather peacoat in the same shade. A tie came in a bold blue that the designer insisted Hubert de Givenchy himself had been partial to. An even brighter shade colored overstitched jeans and a matching shirt. Rather more accessible was a palette of rich autumnal tonespumpkin, chestnut, rust, and brownwhich looked best in velvet jackets and trousers.
The collection cantered restlessly across a whole field of references: a black leather military shirt, for instance, sat somewhat incongruously alongside a cardigan coat in a tweedy knit with a long matching scarf. The runway itself, meanwhile, was an endless streak of herringbone boardwalk, a motif picked up in an alpaca-collared coat. Ironically, given all this color and pattern, Boateng was wearing an uncharacteristically somber-hued ensemble when he emerged to take his bow.