Riccardo Tisci brought together dueling impulses in his Fall Couture collection: On the one hand, he returned to the simple lines of the sixties, when Hubert de Givenchy was at the center of the Paris scene. On the other, he riffed on the look of gypsies, specifically the gypsies you encounter in present-day southern Italy, where he's from. The haute and the street—it's the kind of mix this designer loves.
After seven years at the house, the Tisci codes are instantly recognizable, and copied nearly as quickly. Beaded fringes will be multiplying at the fast-fashion brands as quickly as machines can string them. Here at the mother ship, of course, the beads were painstakingly strung by hand, red and black ones in a pattern that together created a mosaic design to match the embroidery on the top of a floor-length cape. It was the collection's pièce de résistance, and under it, the model wore a jumpsuit made from jersey on top and beaded velvet on bottom, complete with attached open-toe, kitten-heel booties.
Beyond It factor, which he has in spades, technique is the thing at Tisci's Givenchy. The black nappa fringe on a dress boasting intricate leather embroidery extended all the way to the ground, and a halter-neck gown came with a built-in cape that was obsessively embroidered with sequins not on its outside but on its inside.
You felt like Tisci was fighting his own impulses with a pair of nude-colored dresses that featured sheared mink bodices and narrow, unadorned wool and cashmere skirts. And yet that was intriguing, too. It's more than likely that his signatures—a lavishly beaded and fringed cardigan that shaded from cappuccino at the neckline to deep espresso at its hem, for instance—will be the collection's hot tickets. But those restrained column gowns pointed in a new direction, one that's worth exploring further.