The buzz around Givenchy has become palpable. Five years into his tenure in the house, Riccardo Tisci is at the point where he's proved himself in ready-to-wear, and now he's hitting his stride in couture. Everyone wants to know what he's thinking, and right this moment he's thinking about the seventies, a notion that's in the air this week in Paris. In Tisci's case, it was the inspiration of the makeup artist, photographer, and art director Serge Lutens that got him going. "I was scared of couture at the beginning, and reacted by staying away from looking at the past at all," he confessed before the show. "But now I'm more confident, I started looking into the archive, and found the idea of this strong, erotic phase of Parisian women I related to."
That meant a collection that, first of all, consolidated Tisci's magic command of tailoring. Masculine-feminine tuxedo tailcoats shrugged coolly over ostrich-adorned T-shirts will be manna for women who crave a restrained yet powerful way of walking into a room. The designer followed with cocktail dresses with spiral-cut sprays of organza, jumpsuits in black lace with boleros, and a section of long evening looks that ran from creamy flamenco-influenced layers of Chantilly to more severe midnight blue columns covered with flying capes of black chiffon.
It's the element of daring that might turn out to be more publically memorable, though. A vivid glam-rock electric blue and green mosaic-embellished jumpsuit and skirt were the kind of jarring, risk-taking pieces that are guaranteed to be photographed editorially—and taken up by the new fame-seeking music-business generation that recognizes high fashion is a sure way to get noticed. That Tisci has that awareness, as well as the measured ability to appeal to sophisticates, is growing evidence of his power as an accomplished all-rounder.